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Central fish market to move to Peliyagoda

A state-of-the-art Central Fish Market Complex is to be built in Peliyagoda, bordering Colombo, at a cost of $10 million, complying to international standards which will allow fish purchased, to be exported.

"The entire fish trade will be revolutionised. Traders will have to wear head gear and clean clothing and no dumping of fish on the floor will be allowed," A. Hettiarachchi, Director General for Development of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said.

Banks will be housed in the building to finance trade, cold storage rooms and an outlet for freely available ice will be part of the scheme. Fish will have to be kept stored in ice. A restaurant in the complex will be an added feature.

Facilities will be available for trading in dry fish as well. Tanks for storing live ornamental fish is also part of the scheme.

At present, fish for export had to be purchased at sites approved for landing fish, complying to European Union standard specifications, which is limited to a few fisheries harbours. he tender for construction is expected to be floated in January 2007.

The complex will have the capacity to handle 1,000 tonnes of fish per day, in contrast to 250 tonnes per day, traded currently at the St. John's Fish Market, Colombo 11.

The Urban Development Authority has agreed to release 10 perches of land which borders the A3 Colombo-Puttalam Highway. There will also be access to A1, Colombo-Kandy Highway through Dutugemunu Road, Peliyagoda. The new complex will also have spacious parking space for fish- haulage vehicles and for customers.

The Fisheries Ministry has requested the Asian Development Bank to provide part of the funds, Hettiarachchi said.

The St. John's Fish Market is well over 100 years old. The present building was refurbished and opened in 1983. The building is congested with hardly any room for expansion.

The floor is not designed for trolleys fitted with razor wheels that carry heavy loads, but traders continue to use such trolleys regardless. The floors get damaged leaving massive holes which do not allow water to flow out, leaving the complex exposed to contamination.

The fish coming from it could be considered unsafe for human consumption, Hettiarachchi said. The water provided to the fish market is insufficient for current needs, toilets remain messy and the drainage system is out of order.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service

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