Predicament of traders at Dehiwala Public Market

Published : 9:00 am  January 31, 2019 | No comments so far |  | 


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By H.M.Dharmapala and Kusal Dhamath   

Traders running business in Dehiwala public market said they suspect that a secret ploy was being hatched by the authorities to close the market for the benefit of the supermarkets. They pointed out that more than 50 year old market building was now in a dilapidated condition due to neglect of maintenance and repairs and that several traders had already abandoned the stalls. They expressed concern about the recent increase of assessment tax between 100 and 200 percent.  

“The public market that comes under the Dehiwala – Mount Lavinia Municipal Council has turned into an eyesore in the town. However, the municipal council has increased rents and assessment tax for the stalls without providing basic amenities. Storm water leaking from the top story flows down to the stalls in the second floor and the ground floor causing extensive damage to the commodities. The customer arrivals are gradually declining due to the dilapidated condition of the public market and they prefer the supermarkets that have mushroomed into a strong network monopolizing the retail trade. We do not have facilities in the public market to develop our trade to match the super markets. Several leading politicians and even ministers met us and promised to develop the public market with modern facilities but to no avail” they said.  

They further said that their representations in this regard to the relevant authorities had fallen on deaf ear. They requested the Dehiwala – Mount Lavinia Municipal Council and the Urban Development Authority to uplift the public market that had been the marketing centre of the ordinary people for decades.