Dhagadi, September 8
The unusually long shutdown of Tarai districts in the far-west has had a very serious impact on the economy of the region as a whole.
Kailali and Kanchanpur, the only financial hubs in the region, have borne the brunt of continuous bandh since August 6, when it was first launched by supporters of the intact far-west campaign and later by Tharuwan/Tharuhat Struggle Committee.
While agriculture, tourism and daily businesses have suffered a huge setback due to the indefinite shutdown coupled with the recent curfew clamped by the state in parts of Kailali, the same has shut vehicular movement in the region for over one month now.
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The double whammy of bandh and curfew has also hit financial institutions in Dhangadi, which has seen nil transaction over the same period.
According to Shankar Bogati, chairperson of Kailali Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the district has been bearing loss to the tune of 100 million rupees every day. “The figure is for Kailali district alone. If we look at the entire region, the loss will be much more massive,” Bogati said.
Around 201 vehicles belonging to the Far-west Transport Entrepreneurs’ Association operating on various routes have been gathering dust in garages for the past one month, as association chairperson Tekraj Joshi puts the estimated daily loss at around 2 million.
Mahakali Transport Entrepreneurs’ Association is another transport entrepreneurs’ body too has been bearing loss of over one million rupees every day. Apart from the aforementioned sector, the bandh has caused a huge outflow of youths from the districts. This has dealt a serious blow to the already lacklustre agriculture sector.
The hotel business is yet another sector that has been bearing loss to the tune of Rs 2 to 2.5 million daily.
“As the prolonged bandh has also affected the entire tourism industry, for no tourist has come to visit the popular tourism destinations here during the period,” said Dipak Khadka, a tourism entrepreneur.
This desperate situation have also brought down revenue collection at Kailali customs offiece and Gaddachowki customs office in Kanchanpur.
Similarly, statistics have shown that vegetable farmers here have borne a loss of over 10 million rupees due to the bandh.