Feb 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka government is planning to shift the main produce market in the heart of the capital Colombo to a state-of-the-art marketing complex in the suburbs.
The Urban Development Authority (UDA) is constructing the new facility in the suburb of Peliyagoda to move the Manning Market in Colombo on the advice of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
The produce market will be reestablished in the new complex to be set up on a 25 acre-block of land near the Peliyagoda wholesale fish market.
According to the Economic Development Ministry, the new market complex, to be built at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.357 billion will meet the requirements of the farmer, consumer and the trader.
It will comprise among other facilities 100 two storied-wholesale vegetable stalls (each 120 square feet), 662 retail vegetable sales stalls, processing center for vegetables and fruits for export, employees rest rooms, restaurants, service center, parking space for 135 lorries and 200 cars, according to the Economic Development Minister.
Currently, vegetables and fruits are transported from all parts of the island to the Manning Market in the middle of the busy capital city.
The Manning Market at the present three-and-a-half acre location handles around 200 trucks daily bringing in produce to the market in addition to about 1,000 vehicles that arrive daily to make purchases and around 60,000 customers, laborers and employers creating a nightmarish traffic congestion.
Once the Manning Market is shifted to Peliyagoda, the market site in downtown Colombo will be used to build a new bus terminal with all facilities and a market complex for sidewalk vendors. The cabinet of ministers had approved the proposal in 2011.