CMC decides to remove the centre after New Year

Published : 8:47 am  April 4, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (853) reads | 



By Yoshitha Perera   
The Colombo Municipality will remove the Norris Canal Road self employment centre after the Sinhala and Hindu New Year, Colombo Municipal Commissioner V. K. A. Anura said yesterday.  

Mr.  Anura said the decision was taken for a number of reasons, including the non- payment of rates by vendors at the centre and the sale of unhygienic food at the premises. Media reports also said the centre was to be removed as the space would be used to construct a new building for the National Hospital.   

The Commissioner said there were 84 vendors at the premises but only 16 paid rates. The vendors had arrears of at least Rs. 15 million in rates to the Municipality over the years.   

“We have already sent the vendors notices requesting they pay the rates with arrears, but they have not done so,” he said.   
To make matters worse, the Municipality had received a number of complaints about the unhygienic food that was being sold at the premises. Consumers had also complained of the bad attitude of the vendors.   

“This is the one place within the Colombo City limits that has so much unhygienic food sold at one area. We had discussions with the vendors at the centre regarding the unhygienic food and the payment of rates but they have not responded at all,” he said.   

It was the visitors and the patients at the National Hospital who had to face the brunt of the actions of the vendors. In some instances the vendors even blocked the road, not allowing ambulances to pass and enter the hospital, the Commissioner explained.   
“We have taken all of this into consideration and decided to remove the centre after the Sinhala and Hindu New Year,” he said.   

The vendors had taken to the streets in protest, when several municipality workers had entered the area with a backhoe.   
Pic by Nisal Baduge