More an inconvenience than a public convenience

Published : 8:58 am  May 23, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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Text & Pics By Sarath Chinthaka   
The Wattala – Mabole market complex opened by the late M.H. Mohamed when he was the development Minister of the Western Province is presently in a dilapidated condition owing to lack of maintenance. Despite the media disclosing the poor state of this complex on several occasions it appears that these have fallen on deaf ears.   

Presently the market has only a few shops which are located facing the main roads. The shops in the upper floor of this building and those facing the central open space remain locked or unused as no one seems to patronize them.   

At the time this market complex was mooted the town of Wattala lacked a central spot for a market and after opening of the road during the first Non-aligned conference the area developed and a former marshy land was filled up in the centre of the town and the market complex built up, having access from the main Colombo-Negombo road and the old Negombo road.   

Several jewellery shops opened facing the new Colombo-Negombo road. As there was no central bus stand in the area very few people congregate and spend time here, visiting this market complex. With the arrival of several Supermarket giants this market complex lost its importance, as people from all walks of life could obtain everything from these super markets. Finally only the shops selling jewellery, phones and fast foods remained, which had access to the main roads.   


With the lack of customers patronizing this market, most of the shop owners had either let their shops as stores or use them for various illicit activities. Garages repairing three-wheelers and motor cycles had sprung up in the shopping areas facing the inside open space. Some of the shops in the ground floor are used to park three wheelers.   

The third floor of this building remains vacant as no shops had been constructed. The supply of electricity to several areas of this building is not up to any standard. The toilets cannot be used as the doors and windows of them have been removed. It appears that in the construction of this market, low quality building materials had been used.   


The ladies toilet is barred from the use of the public by a small garment factory owner who is keeping it under lock and key for the use of only his female employees. Numerous complaints had been made about the sordid state of this building, but the authorities seem to be having a blind eye and shirking off their responsibilities.   

When this matter was posed to the Secretary of the UC and its enforcement officer Ms. D.P.H. Samarawickrema, she repeated the answer that a works inspector had been assigned and a report from the technical officers is awaited.