How will residents of Colombo feel if they get to have a change from their daily bath of tap-borne chlorinated water and take a cold water bath? That will be quite a dream come true for them. Let’s take a visit to such a place available in the heart of the city.
Located just 100 metres away from the Pettah private bus stand at Gunasinghepura, these public wells have been in existence for more than 100 years. It is an ideal place to have a bath and wash clothes for both those who live close by and those who visit Colombo from outstations.
A line of tanks built of cement is fed water by pump for the customers on a daily basis. Taking a bath, washing clothes and getting them pressed plus sanitation facilities will all cost a mere Rs. 200 per person. The place is kept very clean and orderly by its staff, who are friendly and accommodating. No fee is charged if one has a face-wash only.
Although these public bathing wells were well patronized in the past, the coronavirus pandemic and the prevailing economic difficulties have severely affected the business. It is the responsibility of the authorities to protect this unique facility in the commercial capital.
"Former president Ranasinghe Premadasa who was born here used these wells. The issue is whether we will be able to continue this or will it come to a grinding halt due to the unavailability of customers who want to use our facilities," Murali said.
Speaking to Voice Tube, Murali added that several such wells have already been closed due to the lack of customers and expressed doubts as to whether he would have to undergo the same fate.