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Pasir Ris resident complains of safety hazards caused by supermart but Town Council say they cannot do anything

I am a resident of Pasir Ris. There is a Giant supermarket along Dr 1, beside the Pasir Ris East Community Centre. The problem here is that the staff at this Giant outlet has no regards for the safety or consideration for their customers as well as pedestrians who pass by daily.

The narrow passageway on the left and right of the main entrance, is always obstructed and blocked by the many bicycles left there by residents going to the supermarket and the market, added to the huge trolleys, crates and boxes placed there by Giant staffs, which sometimes contains their goods or at other times empty.

Added to that, even around the corner on the left of Giant where their back entrance and storeroom is at, trolleys laden with goods, boxes are placed along the walkway. As if these aren't bad enough, staff would push their trolleys laden with goods along the already narrower passages and leave them there before and during stocking of goods on shelves. All this only makes the passageways narrower which hinders smooth human traffic flow and makes the exit points inaccessible and any chance of escaping in the event of a mishap very dim.

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Hazards of all the clutter and blockages -

  • a tripping hazard
  • Stacking hazard which may cause injuries when boxes collapse
  • A fire hazard, slows down and making any escape nearly impossible

I dare not imagine with all the good, boxes etc placed in the open and blocking every exit point, it only takes one person to throw a lit cigarette, a match into the pile and we would have a major fire breakout resulting in many deaths as many would be trapped trying to escape.

I have brought up this matter of them blocking the common property outside the supermarket to the Supervisor since some years back till last year and even voiced my concerns on the safety aspect but no action was taken so far. Perhaps the staff may not seem to realize the hazards and the dangers that comes with their action on the lack of concern and regards for anyone's safety, including theirs.

I'm sure the Management are well aware of this, given that they have been warned and fined by the Town Council before, that is if what I was told is true. And if this isn't true, the Management.would have seen the way their goods have been placed when they come on to the outlet. Unless again it is the Management that don't care and were the ones giving the instructions for the staff to do so.

I have on many occasions in the past called the Town Council which also resulted in nought. I cannot recall how many times I was told they would look into it. How much actions and what kind of actions were taken against Giant if any at all for flouting the law is anyone's guesses.

During one of the calls to the Town Council, a Malay female staff who spoke to me mentioned that there were others who complained too. Upon further query, it was revealed to me that Giant was given several small fines a few times and also told to remove the boxes and trolleys. This does not seem to be effective as small fines is nothing but an ant bite to an establishment like Giant.

Sometime last year before the General Election, seeing the same problem persisting, I decided to call the Town Council, however, it taiji to HDB and HDB in turn taiji back to the Town Council. Called Town Council again, this time, a Chinese female supposedly to be the person-in-charged of the vicinity, told me in a very arrogant manner that if Giant refuse to abide by the law, then there was nothing they could do!

What kind of a response is that?

So what is the use of the Town Council when they are unable to run the town effectively? What is the function of the Town Council if they have no authority to rein in an establishment who flouts the law? What is the purpose of imposing small insignificant fines when it will have no impact?

The area is governed by Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

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