Thousands of people gathered to witness the opening of the Floating Market at Bastian Mawatha, Pettah yesterday. This is a special occasion as Sri Lanka makes giant strides in its quest to become the Wonder of Asia, after the elimination of terrorism under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. This magnificent project is one of many that have been initiated under the Mahinda Chintanaya program, to develop Colombo and other cities in the country on par with environmental friendly cities in the middle income countries.
Veteran film actor Ravindra Randeniya making the welcome speech said that anybody who had not come to Pettah in the recent past would be astonished to see the transformation that has taken place in the country within a short period of time.He said that this was the same Pettah where a LTTE terrorist bomb killed over 200 people in those dark days. He said the people are making the most out of the peace dividends.Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena participated as the Chief Guest at the invitation of Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The floating market was constructed under the Colombo City beautification project.
Senior Minister A.H.M. Fowzie, Minister Douglas Devananda, Deputy Minister Faizer Musthapa, Parliamentarians A.H.M.Azwer, J.R.P. Suriyapperuma, Duminda Silva, Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa,Colombo Mayor A.J.M Muzzamil, Commanders of the Three Forces were also present on the occasion.Earlier,Weerasena Adikari, Senior Consultant to the Urban Development Authority told the media that the floating market was developed as a part of the greater Beira Lake Development Project.
“Around 92 stalls have been established within the floating market and 78 of them have been allocated to those who had maintained unauthorized stalls near the location previously,” he added.
In addition, the market will consist stalls which sell local crafts, indigenous herbs, fruits and restaurants.A car park as well as walkways around the premises and its location in between the railway station and the bus stop ensures easy access. Security is to be provided round the clock. According to Adikari the market in addition to locals will be a major attraction for visiting tourists.