December 31, 2017 08:07 AM NPT
By: Jagat Khadka
BAJHANG, Dec 31: It might be hard for some to believe that it is very rare for people to find a toilet in Thalara Kholi, the second largest market of Bajhang, which is famous for the palace of Thalari king.
The residents of this marketplace don't build toilets and instead practice open defecation. This has not just increased pollution but has also damaged the beauty of this historical place.
"Being the second largest market of the district, I had a lot of expectations from here," said Ramesh KC, a local journalist, adding," But I was disappointed to see the pathetic condition of the market."
He informed that he wandered around the shops and houses but could not find toilet. As a result, he had to pee in a river.
He further informed that the market smelled terribly bad due to unmanaged waste and human feces. "I asked the locals why they had not built toilets in their shops and hotels and they replied that it is foolish to waste money in toilets when we have a river and bushes around the market," KC shared.
Dhan Bahadur Khadka, who works in a hotel in Kholi said, "I had time and again made requests to my owner to build a toilet but he refused to do so saying it will be costly." Customers can eat in his hotel but don't have any facility of latrines and toilets. Visitors staying in the hotels have to shamelessly practice open defecation in the river and behind the bushes putting their privacy at stake. It is more of a problem for females.
As per the locals, they have made requests to several non-governmental organizations and rural municipality for managing land and money for toilets but still nothing was done.
Birkha Raj Joshi, ward chairperson of Thalara Rural Municipality-5 assured that his main aim at the moment is to clean the rivers and bushes around the market after constructing toilets. "We are trying to make this place an exemplary market within the next two months," Joshi assured.
Earlier, Thalara was declared an Open Defecation Free (ODF) zone by the District Drinking Water and Sanitation Division Office (DDWSDO) in 2014. But the toilets built at that time have already been destroyed by now.