At a discussion held at the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government under the patronage of the Secretary of the Ministry, it was decided to remove unauthorized pavement hawkers, bill boards and hand carts in Colombo city after September 15th. Officers from the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government, Colombo Municipal Council, The Department of Police, Road Development Authority,National Lotteries Board and Development Lotteries Board were present at the discussion.
The Police revealed that hawkers had taken licenses for newspaper stands and lottery stalls but they trade other materials on pavements. In addition, it was revealed that due to changing places of the mobile stalls and adding extra parts to them pedestrians cannot travel in the pavements freely. Mobile stalls were introduced as a self-employment, but now some of them have been rented, Police revealed. The police has received many complaints fromauthorized shop owners that their shops are being covered and their way of parking has been blocked by those mobile stalls. Pavements in Colombo city have not become safe for the pedestrians. Also pedestrians have met with lot of accidents due to these pavement hawkers.
Colombo Municipal Council has already identified alternative places for the pavement hawkersthat are to be removed from the Colombo city. The CMC will introduce those places to the unauthorized hawkers identified through a survey done by the Police on 05th August. The Secretary of the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government Kamal Padmasiri directed the CMC to directed supply necessary facilities like electricity, Safety and Sanitary facilities for those alternative places. Also newspaper stands and lottery stalls are to be reopened in places that do not obstruct pedestrians. Those places were identified by the Police and the CMC. It was decided that those paper stands and lottery stalls should be maintained according to a plan approved by the CMC. Hawkers are to be
agreewith the CMC that nothing else will be sold in those stalls. And stern legal actions will be taken against those who maintain sounds in their stalls higher than 5dB.
As per the instructions of H.E. the President and the Hon. Prime Minister and under the guidance of the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government Faiszer Musthapha, recently a programme was initiated to make a proper procedure for Trade activities in Colombo city. Aim of this programme is to make pavements free for the pedestrians, reducing traffic congestion, and beautifying the Colombo city. Accordingly Minister Faiszer Musthapha has directed the officers of CMC to remove pavement hawkers and to offer them alternate places. Minister Musthapha admires the programme of beautifying the Colombo city which was carried out by the Urban Development Authority under the guidance of the former Defense Secretary GotabhayaRajapaksha. Also Minister Musthapha stated that the programme of planning Colombo city carried out by the Minister of Megapolis and Western DevelopmentHon. PataliChampikaRanawaka should also be assisted.