Street vendors in sorry state in Khullamanch

Kathmandu, November 4:

Despite putting clothing items on sale in Khullamanch from eight in the morning, Tara Dhungana (54) of Kavre couldn’t get any buyer for her goods today. She was forcefully removed from the Old Bus park, where she had been selling clothing items for the last six years, after the Home Ministry started crackdown on street vendors on October 15.

A pneumonia patient, Tara said she wasn’t earning enough to support her medication. “We can’t go back to our village unless we have money to pay the bank,” said Tara, who has had her kidney and uterus removed in recent operations.

Another street vendor Lila Bahadur Dahal of Sanischare in Morang also has a sorry story to share. Dahal’s three-member family came to Kathmandu a decade ago after their land was swept by flood. An overseas job aspirant, Dahal was forced to work as a street vendor after his money was swindled by a middleman.

He said the KMC did not meet its commitment to arrange toilet and drinking water facilities in Khullamanch. “We are ready to pay the charge. But the KMC is doing nothing,” he complained.

Dahal said they would die but would not bow down to the cruelty of the Home Minister.

Shiva Prasad Kattel, president of Federation of National Industry and Commerce, who is also a member of the committee formed to suggest solutions to the vendors’ problems, said they were looking for locations where the vendors could run their shops permanently. “The final decision will be taken after coordinator of the committee Keshav Sthapit returns from China.”

Meanwhile, Dhanapati Sapkota, chief at the implementation department of KMC and also a member of the committee, said the vendors would be given six month’s time to search for alternatives.