Jaffna's periyakada market dilapidated
The Jaffna Periyakada market which is dilapidated needs an immediate
facelift. Even though promises were made by the previous government, a
cross section of vendors at the Periyakada market told the Sunday
Observer that no action was taken to renovate the market.
Vegetables on sale.
"A large number of people who live at grassroot level and below the
poverty line depend on the market- to purchase goods and also to sell
their wares. Developing the market is essential. The Government will
take necessary steps to develop it", vendors said.
"The buildings were destroyed during the war but no steps were taken
even after the war ended to renovate the market.
Vendors undergo immense hardship to carry on business."We have enough
business but have no proper facilities in the market. This problem must
be solved. Certain projects ended at the proposal stage", Rasadurai
"We are confident that the new Government will extend support to
renovate the market or take steps to construct buildings. Now vendors in
the market do business in the open air. There is no safety for vendors
in the market", he said.
It has also turned out to be an asylum for stray animals in the
night. The drainage system has also been destroyed, he said.
R. Pulendiran who cultivates vegetables and sells them in the market
said that he earns between Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 per day. During
rainy days there is a drop in production and as a result prices of
Almost all areas in the Jaffna district have been developed apart
from the Jaffna Periyakada market. At a time when other markets and
important places have been developed, this market has been neglected and
has received step motherly treatment", Pulendiran said..
Another vendor said that a large number of farmers from various parts
of Jaffna come to the market to sell their products. "We purchase
vegetables from Tirunelveli, Maruthanamadam and from some other areas in
Jaffna" he said.
"The market was in good condition before the war and was damaged by
shell attacks. We hope the market will be brought back to its former
Jaffna Municipal Council Acting Commissioner K Yogendran
Now it operates from temporary tents. The previous Government
promised us that new buildings will be constructed but the project was
not implemented " he said.
A vendor said that the remaining IDPs should be resettled in their
own land. Then they will begin cultivating.
"Vegetable prices have gone up but it is the farmers who benefit more
than the consumers. Income from business is sufficient to manage their
day-to-day living. Access roads to the market have been blocked by
buildings which in turn have also blocked the drainage system as well.
On rainy days the market is inundated with mosquitoes. The drainage
system of Periyakada market is in bad condition because of poor
maintenance", he said.
"We would be happy if President Maithripala Sirisena fulfilled his
promises and if we were allowed to resettle in our lands, we can resume
cultivation. Reduction in the prices of essential commodities is a boon
to the underprivileged". he said.
R. Ranjani said that she supplies vegetables, fruit and fruit juices
from Point Pedro and other parts of the district. The income was not
sufficient even to pay the supplier.
Ranjani said that her stall was at the rear end of the market and
customers made their purchases in the stalls close to the main road, as
a result her earnings had dropped drastically.
A red onion vendor
"There is no problem in transport facilities but the living standard
has not improved yet" she said.
"Only physical development had taken place in the district and not
livelihood development she said.
"We are happy with the price reduction of essential commodities. I
think the Government will take steps to implement projects to benefit
the people. Sustainable development cannot be achieved only by
developing roads and providing electricity", she said.
"We are confident that President Maithripala Sirisena will take steps
to solve the problems of Tamil people", Ranjani said.
"We are not entitled to bank loans because we have no security. This
is not possible. The Government should draft a mechanism to enable
people to obtain loans without any security" she said.
A palmyrah yam seller with yam bundles.
Sivamalar Manonmani said that she was doing business with a small
capital. She had no access to funds to continue self-employment. She
sold yams and other products which are available in the city at a
nominal rate. "The Government should solve our problems. I live amidst
If the authorities provide some relief we can look after our
children. I receive only Rs. 1,000 as public assistance. It is not
sufficient. Because the income is not sufficient to cover my day- to
-day expenditure. I come to the market to sell some goods and earn a
living":, she said..
Ramalingam Thaninayaham said that the capital he had was not
sufficient to do business. Like the change which took place in the
Government, a change should take place even in the lives of the people.
He said that the market should be built to provide accommodation to a
large number of vendors who run the business in the open and were
exposed to the elements. "During heavy rains the roof leaks.
As there are no support walls for the market, rain water seeps into
the premises severely inconveniencing vendors. At least if the roof is
repaired it would be of assistance to the vendors as well as the
consumers", Thaninayaham said.
When Acting Commissioner and Chief Accountant of the Jaffna Municipal
Council K Yogendran was asked about the problems of the Jaffna
Periyakada vendors, he said that steps have been taken to solve the
problems of these vendors after the new Government came to power. Steps
will be taken to renovate the building. All projects will be implemented
on a priority basis.He said engineers have been consulted in this
regard. Yogendran said "If vendors expressed the shortcomings in writing
we will take action with regard to the development of the market".