20th March 2011, www.sundayobserver.lk, By Lalin Fernandopulle
The new fish market complex will be opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on March 26, Project Director, Aquatic Resource Development and Quality Improvement Project of the Ministry of Fisheries, Jayantha Chandrasoma said.
He said St. John’s fish market will be closed and all wholesale fish trading will take place at the the new complex.
The new state-of-the-art market is built on a sprawling 3.7 acre block along the Katunayake expressway with an investment of Rs. 1.9 billion funded by the Government and the Asian Development Bank.
“The new market consists of more facilities and space for business. There will be a retail market for customers who wish to buy small quantities”, Chandrasoma said.
St. John’s fish market was relocated to create a clean environment in Colombo and ease the traffic congestion in the city.
The new market complex comprises a wholesale market with 148 stalls and a retail market with 128 stalls, storage and sales facilities, a 25 ton flake ice plant with room for expansion up to 50 tons, a blast freezer room, cold rooms, a modern cafeteria, shopping, banking and office space, parking space for 500 vehicles and water treatment are some of the facilities at the new market complex.
Chandrasoma said the former fish market lacked proper hygienic standards, accommodation for large volumes of fish and parking space. The new fish market has come under criticism from certain fisheries associations claiming that it is built away from the business environment and lacks trade links.
The construction of the new fish market commenced in 2009. The delay in opening the complex was due to elections and implementation procedures.