GORKHA, Sept 3: Street vendors in Gorkha have illegally occupied a public land owned by the District Forest Office (DFO) along the Khaireni-Gorkha Highway, posing 'risk' for commuters.
A year ago, the local administration had removed the marketplace from that area known as Barakilo Bazaar where various business persons had setup shops, hotels and restaurants. The bazaar is located between Abu Khaireni and the Gorkha Bazaar.
Currently, there are nearly 40 stalls operating in Barakilo. These stalls have not paid any taxes to the local unit. Drivers have also complained that the space occupied by the vendors on the road has increased the risk of accidents.
The street vendors started occupying the area after it became a temporary bus stop for passengers travelling to rural areas in Gorkha. Previously, the community forest used to charge a monthly fee of Rs 200 per shop for the use of the land but later the vendors started protesting it.
"The local authorities is not paying attention to this problem. If they want a market then they should manage it properly," said a local.
Three years ago, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had sent a letter to the DFO and the local administration requesting them to remove the infrastructures from the area. Despite removing the infrastructure, a new market has emerged in Barakilo two years later.
The road has started taking toll due to the emergence of street vendors. The pollution has increased since they started their business while lack of public toilets has led to sanitation problems in the area. There are various cracks and potholes seen on the road as well.
Ward Chairperson Ram Bahadur Khadka said that they are planning to relocate the market elsewhere.