IPOH, Jan 14 — Hawkers and traders at the Bercham Market expressed anger today over the bird droppings, overflowing rubbish bins and presence of illegal stall operators that have affected their business for the past seven years.
The market, which was opened 10 years ago, used to be one of the cleanest market in Ipoh, but it has slowly turned into a filthy place.
Bird faeces can be seen on the floor and on the tables of the eateries. Trash has overflowed the bins due to the lack of garbage collection services.
To make the situation worse, illegal traders who set up their stalls at the market car park compound have caused traffic congestion and parking problems for market-goers.
Hawker Chan Kok Foo, 64, who has been selling apam balik (turnover pancake) in the market since the beginning of its operation, said that the birds that took shelter in the market had caused him lot of problems.
“The first thing I saw in my stall every morning is the bird faeces. I have to do extra work to clean them up. We have been facing this problem for about seven years.
“The birds come into the market via the window holes in the wall,” he told reporters.
Chan also said on many occasions bird droppings fell on people’s food while they were eating.
Another trader How Huan Teik, 60, who has been selling biscuits and kuih muih in the market said the waste disposal machine broke down soon after it was first installed.
“Not even a month after it was set up, the machine had some problems and been completely left unused until today.
“The machine was installed when the market was first opened. Since, there is no other way to dispose the waste, people started to throw the rubbish on the roll-off container.
“However, the garbage truck will only collect the rubbish from the container once a week and the week-old rubbish emits a stench and presents an unpleasant view,” he said.
How, who is also the Kinta Small Traders Association chairman, said that another problem is the illegal traders who set up stalls outside the market.
“The traders has no license to operate and they have set up their stall at the market parking compound.
“Due to this, people who visit the market has no place to park and it also create traffic congestion,” he said.
How urges the authority to take immediate action on the problem faced by the traders in the market as their livelihood were affected.
Meanwhile, City Counsellor Aldrich Low Guo Nan said that he had received several complaints from the traders in the market over the issues.
“The Ipoh City Council had installed four ultrasound devices in the wall of the market. The vibration and sound produced by the device will discourage the birds from entering the market.
“Meanwhile, for the garbage collection service, there are only five garbage trucks available. The trucks have to collect garbage from 24 markets in Ipoh, thus delaying the collection of rubbish,” he explained.
Low also said he will lodge a report to the city council enforcement unit to take a prompt action against illegal traders and confiscate the stalls that are set up at the car park compound.