4,393 street vendors booked during last fiscal

Kathmandu, November 7

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City said it took action against 4,393 street vendors for encroaching on footpaths in the fiscal Year 2014/15.

According to a report, the crackdown on street vendors was part of KMC’s efforts to maintain urban law and order. “KMC arrested as many as 4,393 street vendors for occupying footpaths and littering public places.

The metropolis earned Rs 2.95 million in revenue in fines collected from street vendors. They were fined anything from Rs 500-1,000 depending on the gravity of the offence,” it informed.

Though the government had succeeded in evicting street vendors from footpaths of the Kathmandu Valley in March, they have again reclaimed the spaces. As many as 16,664 street vendors had been removed then. Such encroachment has not only hindered hassle-free mobility of pedestrians but has also ruined the beauty of the city.

According to Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, footpath encroachment in major as well as inner roads is contributing to traffic congestion and road accidents. Moreover, pedestrians have no option but to walk on roads risking their lives.

Spillover of pedestrians onto roads due to footpath encroachment is a common sight in New Baneshwor, Sundhara, Bhotahiti, Ratna Park, Koteshwor, Swayombhu, Kalimati, Kalanki, Balaju and Sitapaila, among others.

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City had earlier relocated a section of street vendors to Khula Manch near Ratna Park. However, they were later removed from the area to create more open space in the city.

An official at the Ministry of Home Affairs said it is searching for alternative places to relocate the street vendors so that they can carry on their businesses.

Despite frequent crackdown, the number of street vendors continues to increase due to weak national economy and rising unemployment. People’s attraction towards cheap goods has also encouraged the street vendors to set up stalls on footpaths, said officials.