Dilapidated state of public market in Ja-ela Customers and traders in Ja-ela highly inconvenienced

Published : 12:15 am  August 28, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 

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CITY-DM-6-2

Text & Pics by P.H.P. Perera   

Many public buildings in the Ja-Ela town were modernized with the passage of time and some were newly built. Public buildings such as the Police station, Divisional Secretariat, post office and hospital were newly built or modernized to suit the time. However, the public market was not renovated since its construction and as a result of its dilapidated and filthy condition, the traders and the customers have found it difficult to engage in buying and selling their commodities.   


When delving into the history of this two-storeyed building, it is 40-years-old and the customers used to come in their thousands to buy their daily requirements and there are about 80 traders who are engaged in their business in this building even today. However, there is an imminent danger of the decayed roof of this building. During rainy days, the water that leaks from the roof begins to flow along the surface of the floor causing much inconvenience to the customers when buying their requirements. The electric wiring system here remains unattended by the authorities, posing a threat to the security of the customers and traders.    It can be seen that the walls of the building have cracked in some places. All the toilets that were used by the customers and the traders have been closed down; They were compelled to pay money to obtain such facilities from outside areas.    Under these circumstances, the management of the Ja-Ela urban council has decided to increase the rent of the business stalls in the building to an exhorbitant rate like 800%. Journalists had inquired about this situation from the Chairman of the United Public Market Businessmen’s Association M.L.Purnaratna, who expressed his views as follows:   


“The urban council has decided to increase the rent of the business stalls in an unprecedented manner recently, despite the fact that there are numerous shortcomings in the market. We informed the relevant authorities regarding our dissatisfaction regarding the increase of the rent. But they adopt a subtle strategy to hoodwink us, saying that they are not going to increase the rent. They have proposed the suggestion in the council meeting to increase the rent and seconded it. They do not seem to be against that move and are going to hoodwink us. Some council members have promised that the shortcomings would be rectified. If they do not take steps to stop the increase of rent, then we have no option other than going to court or staging protests.” 


According to the views of a trader in the market named Kamani Alexander, they were doing business amidst untold hardships due to lack of facilities such as toilets. The building is in a dilapidated condition and is not repaired or painted at all. The ladies are inconvenienced for want of toilet facilities and Rs. 10 has to be paid to use an outside toilet. A trader who suffers from diabetes has to pay Rs. 2000 or 3000 monthly as he or she has to use the toilet on several occasions, she said.   


Several traders expressed the same views about the difficulties faced by them. A lady customer said that she comes to the market to buy goods as her old habit in spite of the unbearable stench emanating from inside the market.    When inquired about the decision of increasing the rent from the mayor of the Ja-Ela urban council, he said: “ It was the government assessment officers who planned to increase the rent of the business stalls because the rent has not been increased for many years. We requested them to reduce the monthly rent but they informed us that it could not be done. 


They have proposed to implement the fine system with effect from September 1, 2018. All members in this council are against the increase of rent. But we are helpless in this regard. After demolishing this building, it has been proposed to construct a seven-storeyed building in the future.”   

 

When delving into the history of this two-storeyed building, it is 40-years-old and the customers used to come in their thousands to buy their daily requirements

 


Mahinda-11

 

A trader who suffers from diabetes has to pay Rs. 2000 or 3000 monthly as he or she has to use the toilet on several occasions

 

 


 

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