Panadura Market a serious health hazard and a nuisance to the public

Published : 11:21 am  February 2, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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By K.S. Fernando and Kusal Chamath   
The building of the Panadura Public Market constructed about ten years ago is on the verge of collapse, and the engineers of the Western Province Building Department have condemned it as an endangered building, unfit for use.  

The business community said 400 stalls had been housed in the dilapidated building, much to the anxiety of the traders. They accused the Panadura Urban Council (UC) of neglecting maintenance of the building, despite the heavy rents paid by them to the UC.  
Residents of the area said the squalid Panadura public market was an eyesore that created a serious health hazard due to the broken down drains filled with storm water. They pointed out that mosquito breeding grounds were found in pits in the broken cement floor.   
A resident of the area Raymond Alwis (50) said, the market building had not been maintained for years and that it was on the verge of collapse.   

“Hundreds of fish and vegetable sellers are running businesses by the roadside for fear of any possible danger, if the roof of the building collapsed. This has resulted in obstructions to traffic on the roads. If the Urban Council maintained the building, it could have been used for several more years. Traders wash vegetables and fruits with stagnant water in the polluted well,” he said.  

Former Member of the Panadura UC and President of the Traders’ Association Mahesh Fernando said that the UC neglected the main utility services in the town, and  the public market was one such place. He said his continual requests to the UC to repair the market building fell on  deaf ears and that it was now beyond repair.  

Secretary of the Public Market Traders’ Association S.Sanjeewa said, the traders were not prepared to leave the building unless they were provided a location to carry on their business activities.   

Menwhile, the Secretary of the Panadura UC had issued notices to the traders to vacate the building, which they refused.