The food centre at Block 117, Aljunied Avenue 2, is one of four reverted to the Government this year. Its 20-year lease under the Stall Ownership Scheme expired on May 31.

The other three food centres were at 503, West Coast Drive; 207, New Upper Changi Road; and 20, Ghim Moh Road.

The scheme, introduced in 1994, saw 1,956 stalls in 15 hawker centres sold between 1994 and 1997. Under the scheme, the owners could sell, transfer or sublet their stalls.

Those who did not wish to buy their stalls were allowed to continue renting them. After the leases expire, the centres will continue to operate after repair, renovation, refurbishment or redevelopment is done. Existing stall owners can opt to continue but as a tenant paying a monthly rental.

From June 1, cooked food stallholders at Block 117, Aljunied Avenue 2, pay $192 for subsidised stalls (held by first-generation stall owners) and $1,340 to $1,500 for non-subsidised stalls.

In a reply to e-mail queries, the National Environment Agency said that as of Oct 1, 23 out of 79 cooked food stalls at Block 117, Aljunied Avenue 2, were vacant.

Its spokesman said all 23 vacant cooked food stalls were offered for tender in an exercise held from Oct 13 to 27, and 22 received bids. Nineteen stalls that received competitive bids were awarded to the successful bidders, who will start their tenancies from Dec 1.

The remaining four cooked food stalls have been offered for tender again in this month'sexercise, which closes today, he said.