Tihar breather for footpath vendors

Kathmandu, October 22:

Agitating street vendors today decided to call of all their protest programmes, including the Valley bandh slated for tomorrow.

The change of heart came about after a nine-point understanding with a government panel. Former Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) mayor Keshav Sthapit heads the committee.

As per the accord, street vendors will be promoted as Informal Sector Service Providers (ISSP). A joint task force will be set up, which will not only take care of the ISSP’s needs but also ensure that pedestrians can use pavements freely.

The task force will make a detailed study to compile the personal details of vendors, who will be subsequently provided with identity cards.

A separate fund will be allocated for the exercise, which will also determine the places where the ISSPs can conduct their business.

A short-term arrangement has also been made. The ISSPs can continue to do their business till Tihar.

“But, they will lay seize to the footpaths of the busy and strategic intersections,” said Sthapit. The government has decided to return all the goods seized during last week’s eviction drive.

“We will intensify our protest if the government fails to implement the agreements. We will also come under the tax regime,” said Shiva Kattel, president, Federation of National Industries and Commerce (FNIC).

Meanwhile, Nepal Progressive Non-Trade and Labour Farmer Organisation have come up with a seven-point charter, which will be handed over to the Prime Minister tomorrow. They have served a week’s ultimatum to fulfill their demands that include alternative management to the street vendors.

CDOs of Kathmandu and Lalitpur, SSP of Metropolitan Traffic Police Office and senior divisional engineer Sunil Poudyal took part in today’s meeting.