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Traders Anxious Over Relocation of Poultry Shops

28 June 2013

SRI LANKA - In the backdrop of reported plans to shift the poultry shops located at W.E. Bastian Mawatha, Pettah (part of the Manning Market) looming over them, traders are anxious about the alternative site that is to be made available to them.

President of the Manning Market Poultry Traders' Association (MMPTA), Haja Mohideen, told Ceylon Today, the shifting of the poultry shops was proposed under the Colombo City beautification project by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). Although in full agreement that the project is a timely need, their worry is about the location of the alternative accommodation to be provided by the CMC as they have been kept in the dark about the area and possible environment, so far.

Secretary, MMPTA, M.I.M. Iqbal told Ceylon Today that they would be happy if they are provided with accommodation at the old abattoir down Dr. Dannister de Silva Mawatha, Dematagoda; a strip of land at the A.E. Gunasinghe Park; or within the premises of the old Tripoli Market opposite the Ceylon Technical College, Maradana.

When the initial idea of shifting the Manning Market poultry shops came up, the then Mayor and Special Municipal Commissioner, Omar Kamil, indicated that alternative accommodation for 14 shops will be provided from one of the locations mentioned above, Mr Iqbal noted.

When Ceylon Today contacted Kamil subsequently, he avowed that the attempts made by him to provide alternative location for the soon to be displaced poultry traders, proved futile during his tenure at the helm of the CMC. He added that it is only fair that the poultry traders in question, who perform a valuable service to the residents in the city, be provided with a suitable place to continue their business.

Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil, said following the representations made by the MMPTA, he has inspected the A.E. Gunasinghe Park and the 'London Market' premises at Saunders' Place, but the space at both the locations was inadequate to house all the 14 shops. He added however, that he is still pursuing his quest and expressed the hope that a suitable place will be identified for them.

The CMC's Opposition Leader, Ajantha Liyanage, expressed the opinion that the area with trade stalls at the bottom of the Rasamuna Kanda in Colombo North, could be a suitable location for the shops in question. However, the CMC could perhaps explore the possibility of finding accommodation for them at various municipal markets in the city, where in his opinion, most people occupy more than one shop space. As it is unfair for one individual to own two shops, the Mayor could inquire into such specific cases and assign the additional shops occupied by the businessmen to the poultry traders. A long-standing employee in a Colombo poultry shop, Mohamed Farook told Ceylon Today, he is personally aware of the travails of the Manning Market poultry traders, having worked in one of their shops for several decades. A favourable location for these traders to carry on their business is long overdue, as only then can they as employees in the trade benefit.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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