Himalayan News Service

Dharan, May 18:

No sooner the Maoist ban ended on Jestha 1, denizens of the district are now facing a three-day long Maoist bandh. Businessmen, industrialists, transportation entrepreneurs, health workers and public were harassed during the ban as no vehicle plied during the ban. Now, with the three-day bandh knocking, people are wringing their hands. Mohan Kaji Shakya, general secretary of Sunsari Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the business sector has been badly affected with the weeklong Maoist ban and the bandh called thereafter. It has increased a sense of insecurity among locals, he said.

Items of daily use, jammed at different places, could not reach Dharan today and with the bandh starting the same day, there is little chance of these reaching their destination. Vegetables have gone off the tables of most locals as more than 30 per cent of these coming into headquarters are transported from neighbouring VDCs. Shyam Bhandari, assistant at the agriculture market said, "The daily vegetable business of Rs 0.8 million has dropped to Rs 0.3 million."

Meanwhile, the number of patients at BP Memorial Institute of Health and Science have also reduced drastically. Source from the institute said the patient inflow has decreased from 700 to 400. This has affected the pharmacies near the institute. "There are hardly any patients in the hospital, and so business has plummeted," said Nawaraj Dhungana of Halesi Pharmacy. Narayan Chapagain, administrative executive at the institute, said the institute keeps extra medicines for emergency but if the situation remained the same, serious problems would crop up. The three-day bandh has also affected the hotel and transport entrepreneurs. Most of them are having difficulty managing two square meals a day. The searing summer has people panting for cold drinks, but the market faces a shortage of these drinks too. Several retailers said the closure of schools had drastically reduced the sale of noodles.

Panchthar starving

Phidim: Maoist sanction has caused shortage of food and other things of daily use in many parts of Panchthar. Phidim, the district headquarters, has been reeling under food scarcity ever since a group of Maoists barred the movement of a goods carrier, which was en route to Phidim from Birtamod, at Rankebazaar, along the Panchthar-Ilam border, on May 8. The Maoists told the truck driver not to ply the truck till May 21. The people of Chokmagu, Nangin, Bharpa are facing shortage of milk, food grains and vegetables. Students, who have poured in Phidim for class 11 exams, are facing shortage of kerosene. — HNS