Pillawa residents left in the lurchPublished : 12:32 pm November 8, 2016 | No comments so far | | (224) reads |
BY H.M. DHARMAPALA AND KUSAL CHAMATH A large population in Pillawa that depend on selling flowers and other requisites for religious activities are facing hardships for want of basic facilities. The residents said the authorities considered them as a group engaging in an undesired trade.
They said they were denied of their basic needs including electricity, water and sanitary facilities. Meanwhile, the flower dealers in the area pointed out that they depended on self-employment while providing a service to the devotees attending religious activities at the Pillawa Temple. They said they expected the ongoing development activities to raise their standards of living, but had nearly lost their livelihood due to the ongoing road development project. P.K. Sriyani, a resident of the area who runs a flower stall, said the Boralesgamauwa Urban Council looked into their hardships and provided facilities, but it was the authorities that implemented the road development project that created hardships. “Although the authorities promised to build us permanent stalls during the very inception of the road development project, they left us in the lurch.
We are still running our businesses in temporary sheds. Even though the project has been completed, measures have not been taken to provide us with facilities as promised. The authorities have not taken any steps to remove the heaps of garbage left by the roadside that had now turned into an eyesore,” she said. W.A. Nishantha, another flower dealer, said their stalls were demolished under the road development project on the promise of providing them with permanent stalls, but many of them were running businesses under umbrellas. Meanwhile, Piyaseeli Jayasuriya, an elderly woman, said as poverty-stricken people they did not have enough capital to embark on any other venture, and that they had been compelled to depend on selling flowers to take care of their families. They requested the authorities to provide them with adequate facilities to run their trade without any obstacle.