Alternative vending spots yet to be agreed upon

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jul 7, 2014-

The government has yet to figure out alternatives for the street vendors who were evicted five months ago. The major reason for the failure to to re-establish the displaced street entrepreneurs is largely due to the internal ideological feuds between the vendor representatives backed by various political parties.

The taskforce formed to solve the vendors’ plight two months ago, which includes stakeholders from UML aligned Nepal Street Vendors Union (NEST), UCPN (M) aligned Self-employed Business Workers’ Association and CPN-M aligned Nepal Self-Employed Workers Union, has not been able to formulate proper management strategies and designate new vending zones.

While the UML aligned organisation proposed to use the currently agreed areas as alternatives to settle a few hundred vendors to begin with, the CPN-M aligned organisation stressed on the need for the government to designate zones with a view to accommodating all.

“We agreed to utilise the agreed zones by accommodating few hundred vendors as the first step. But other representatives want to solve the problem as a whole, ” said Maya Gurung, secretary of the NEST.

Sujan Giri, president of the Nepal Self-Employed Workers Union, said it was not fair to only accommodate a few vendors and leave out the rest. “We demand that everyone recieves equal treatment together,” said Giri. “It seems that the taskforce was formed only to buy time. But we will not mellow our demands.”

The union has plans for protests within a week to pressurise the government to meet their demands. “The protest will be peaceful,” said Giri.

The various unions, however, have concerns over the government’s plan to allow the street vendors to carry on on the streets for just one year. “We do not possess any other expertise or skills to find an alternative source of income,” said Gurung.

The unions have also, voiced against the time schedule proposed by the government which allows vendors to run their business after 6: 30 pm in the evening.

Published: 08-07-2014 09:12

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