SINGAPORE: Residents living near the Little India MRT station have expressed growing concerns about large gatherings of foreign workers in the area every weekend, citing issues related to noise, littering, and public safety.

They claim that the gatherings, which consist of around twenty individuals, have led to public disturbances, littering, brawls, and even public urination.

Mr Deng (transliterated from Mandarin) told 8World that the gatherings have become a common sight during weekends, with groups of foreign workers occupying the area around the MRT station.

“They sit on the ground, bring food and drinks, and set up loudspeakers to play music,” he explained. “It’s not just loud talking; they even sing and dance when they feel like it.”

The gatherings have been reported to inconvenience pedestrians, as workers sometimes sit on the sidewalks, blocking the way.

Mr Deng also claimed to have personally witnessed several instances of public urination near the road despite the availability of public toilets within the station.

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Residents have also been concerned about the accumulation of litter. According to Mr Deng, food remnants and disposable tableware are often left behind, creating a significant mess.

Although the National Environment Agency has employed cleaners to tidy up the area, the sheer volume of litter makes it challenging to maintain cleanliness.

“The cleaning staff work hard, but they clean only once or twice a day. After 6 or 7 pm, when the workers continue to gather, the garbage stays until the next day,” Mr Deng noted.

Residents say the gatherings typically start around lunchtime and continue until late at night, with some lasting until 10 pm.

Beyond eating and chatting, there have been incidents involving alcohol consumption, which has sometimes led to noisy quarrels and even physical altercations.

Mr Deng pointed out that this issue isn’t new, mentioning that the problem subsided during the COVID-19 pandemic due to restrictions on gatherings.

However, as life has returned to normal, the weekend gatherings have resumed, and, according to him, the situation is getting worse.

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Residents have formed groups to discuss the issue and explore possible solutions. But despite attempts to address the issue through petitions and increased cleaning efforts, the problem persists.

The concerned residents have approached the National Environment Agency (NEA) and circulated petitions to highlight the issue.

The authorities have set up signboards and deployed more cleaning staff, but the measures have not effectively resolved the problem.

Mr Deng and other residents insist they respect the rights of foreign workers to gather but urge them to be considerate of the surrounding community.

Mr Deng also suggested creating more alcohol-free zones and called on the authorities to restrict public drinking.

He added, “We also hope that the police can increase the number of patrols to solve the problem of drunken and causing trouble among foreign workers.”