Evicted vendors want fresh talks

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Aug 21, 2014-

Evicted street vendors of Kathmandu have urged the government to initiate fresh talks with them in order to address their problems and grievances and provide them with better alternatives to earn their livelihood. Over six months have passed since the vendors were evicted from the streets of Kathmandu, but the government is yet to provide them with alternative vending areas as promised.

Three months back a taskforce comprising of concerned stakeholders together with the representatives of street vendors was formed to identify alternative vending zones and set time slots for conducting business in those areas. However, the committee, which was assigned to solve the problem faced by street vendors in three days time, has not been able to do so even in three months.

According to Maya Gurung, Secretary at the Nepal Street Vendors’ Union (NEST), the government worsened their already dire situation by turning a deaf ear to their repeated pleas and requests.

“The government could have come up with better alternatives for us. But they were never serious about solving our problems. In fact, they wanted to remove us from the streets for good,” said Gurung. “Still, we are ready to hold talks with the government and find a common solution to this imbroglio.”

As alternative business zones, some of the locations recommended by the taskforce  include pavements on Koteshwor-Jadibuti road, areas west of Kalanki-Balkhu road, area east of Om Hospital in Chabahil, pavement north of Pashupati-Airport road and the pavements on the stretch from Tukucha Bazaar to Nepal Tourism Board. However, the vendors refused to accept these vending spots saying that they will not be adequate to accommodate them all and that they will not accept these vending zones until each and every displaced vendor gets a place to run his/her business.

It is learnt that vendor unions aligned to various political parties are planning to stage protests to exert pressure on the government to address their demands.  However, NEST said it has withdrawn all plans to take to the streets to resolve the problem facing the evicted vendors.

“ We do not want to trouble the general people with our protests. Our fight is with the system and it will not end until we get justice,” added Gurung.

Published: 22-08-2014 09:01

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