Vendors pose threat to Patan Durbar Square

Lalitpur, January 12:

Vendors are posing a threat to the Patan Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over 100 hundred vendors spread their stuffs on the premises of the heritage site after dusk.

“The Krishna Mandir and the Bhimsen temple are

situated in the locale,” Shyam Bahadur Shrestha, a local, said, adding: “These types of activities should not be allowed to continue in a sacred area.”

Kadam Lal Maharjan, a city police inspector at the Lalitpur sub-Metropolitan City (LMC), said locals have been complaining to the LMC about the growing encroachment of the area.

“Our efforts aimed at regularising vendors’ businesses have not been effective. The vendors launch protest programmes if we try to regulate their businesses,” Maharjan said, adding vendors’ business has boomed after Jana Andolan II.

The LMC had held several meetings with vendors and other stakeholders to address the threat posed by vendors.

It had also offered alternative localities to the vendors.

Prem Raj Joshi, the executive officer at the LMC, said: “We are planning to accommodate some of the vendors at the vegetable market in Dhapgal and others in Lagankhel within a week with the consent of political parties.”

“Vendors have not been paying fees for occupying public space,” Joshi said, adding: “They will be taxed once they are shifted to new localities,” Joshi said.

The Lalitpur chapter of the Newaa National Liberation Front has given the LMC an ultimatum to solve the problem of encroachment of the public space. “As the LMC has been collecting fees from tourists, it should take initiatives to keep the heritage site intact,” Saroj Singh, president of the Lalitpur chapter of the front, said.

Shiva Kattel, a central member of the Sanyukta Byapar Byabasahi Sangh, said the vendors should be given an alternative so that they can give continuity to their business.

He said vendors are ready to hold talks on the LMC’s offer.