Singapore: Singapore has unveiled plans to double the number of recreational centres for foreign workers to draw them away from the congested Little India district which witnessed the worst riots in four decades last year.
The Little India district is largely made up of Indian origin businesses, eateries and pubs where migrant workers from South Asia spend their day off.
The four centres, to be located in the industrial areas closer to workers` dormitories, would be completed by the end of next year, The Straits Times reported today.
The facilities would include basketball and volleyball courts, soccer and cricket fields, fitness corners, food courts, supermarkets and Internet cafes.
The cost of two centres was estimated at USD 26.4 millions.
Currently, there are four recreational centres for nearly one million low-paid foreign workers.
"The SCAL recreational centre draws about 6,000 workers on week days and as many as 10,000 on weekends. The centre provides services such as money transfer, barbering and phone repairs," said Dr Ho Nyok Yong, President of The Singapore Contractors Association Ltd.
"Whatever you can get at Little India, you can get it at the centre`s supermarket," he said.
Mister of Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin had first announced the new centres in January, in the aftermath of the Little India riot.
The riot on December 8, 2013 left 49 police officers injured and 23 emergency vehicles damaged, of which five were burnt, in the worst outbreak of violence Singapore has seen in the last four decades.
Some 400 migrant workers from South Asia rioted when an Indian man was killed in a bus accident in the Little India.
Fifty two Indians and a Bangladeshi have been deported for their role in the rioting.