URA joins hands with Government departments to help operators affected by Graham Street fire incident rebuild and repair stalls
With regard to the fire incident which took place at the Graham Market in Central a few days ago, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) together with the relevant Government departments have been in close contact with the affected stall operators in the past few days to understand the situation and their needs, with an aim to offer corresponding compassionate assistance and help them resume their business as soon as possible.
Following the fire at Graham Street which broke out in the early hours of 15 August 2018, URA representatives went to the market in the morning on the same day to reach out to the stall operators to learn about their worries and concerns. Some stall operators expressed their concerns to the URA that they had to suspend their business as their stalls were damaged by the fire. They were worried about their living and wished the URA could help rebuild their stalls.
After gaining an understanding of the situation, the URA decided to offer an emergency financial assistance to the stall operators to subsidise them in repairing and rebuilding the stalls, as well as reconnecting the power supply system. The URA concurrently contacted the relevant Government departments, which included the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) and Central and Western District Office, to discuss the appropriate assistance and timely arrangement that could be offered to the stall operators.
According to FEHD’s information, a total of eight stalls affected by the fire incident required repair or reconstruction. Together with the FEHD and Central and Western District Office, the URA had a meeting with the operators of the eight stalls yesterday (16 August) to discuss the arrangement of the emergency assistance and follow up on their latest situations and needs.
As the reconstruction and repair of street stalls are required to comply with the relevant standards set by the FEHD, the FEHD will provide technical support to the affected operators in the design and construction of stalls. The FEHD will also examine the relevant plans, material certifications and quotations, while the URA may offer advice and assistance when the operators rebuild and repair their stalls. As soon as the specification and certification of the stall reconstruction or repair are confirmed, the URA will release the subsidy with a maximum amount of $54,000 per stall.
The Graham Market is situated next to the URA’s Peel Street/Graham Street redevelopment project. Over the years, the URA has maintained a good relationship with nearby stall and business operators. Through working with the Government departments, the URA hope it could help the stall operators resolve the difficulties caused by the fire incident and assist them to resume their operations as soon as possible, with a view to sustaining the local character of the century-old Graham Market.