Wattala-Mabola market building sinking, stall-owners fearful

Published : 8:45 am  September 2, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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dsfdfg Text & pics by Sarath Chinthaka   

Stall owners at the Wattala-Mabola market building yesterday complained that they were on the verge of abandoning the building as it had started sinking several years ago and nothing had been done to arrest the situation.   

Several stall owners said they were forced to abandon the stalls they purchased several years ago as they could no longer open the door to their place of business.   

The market-place, a two-storey building constructed almost 20 years ago, is situated in the Wattala town near the Hendala junction. The area in which the building was situated has a constant flow of traffic making the unstable condition of the building a hazard not just to those inside the building but also those around it.   

Stall owners who wished to remain anonymous said that it was not the only issues they faced at the premises. “There are only two wash-rooms for the entire building,” they said.   

To make matters worse officials had constructed new stalls haphazardly under political influence during the previous government. “These stalls don’t help customers move around easily. It makes navigating the area a nightmare,” a stall owner said.   Large advertising boards placed in front of the building and haphazardly inside the building hid many of the stalls and even the new establishment, making it very difficult for new customers to locate the premises.   

“Officials have not painted the premises for several years now, but the new Pradeshiya Sabha secretary painted the building. While it does not resolve all our issues, it is better than nothing,” a stall owner said.   The previous government had attempted to redevelop the land by constructing a  twelve-storey building complete with two cinema halls. “They even collected Rs. 1,000 from each of us to publish an advertisement in the papers calling for tenders, but nothing happened,” he said.