Published : 9:52 am  May 31, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (921) reads | 


BY INDIKA MANOJ COORAY AND KUSAL CHAMATH Residents and drivers in the Moratuwa area said the unauthorized stalls along the pavements in Moratuwa town were a serious obstacle to the movement of pedestrians and led to many accidents. They said the police had sporadically taken steps to remove the pavement stalls and the unauthorized pavement hawkers, but that they again occupy the pavements with political patronage. They said the local politicians were encouraging the traders to run businesses on the pavements without realising the nuisance and danger they caused.

They said pedestrians often avoid the pavements and walk along the edge of the road and were in danger of being knocked down by passing vehicles. They said several such accidents have occurred in the past. A Moratuwa town resident, Noel Aponso (50) said Moratuwa is a major town with a dense population on the Galle-Colombo main road and is frequented by a large crowd from morning till night but the authorities had not paid adequate attention to the obstruction caused by the pavement hawkers and owners of unauthorised stalls. He said the pavement vendors are running businesses on pavements allegedly under the political influence of local politicos who interfere when any action is taken by the police to resolve the issue. The residents requested the Moratuwa Municipal Council and the police to launch a joint operation to clear the Moratuwa town of pavement hawkers.