Street vendors protest in front of Kathmandu Metropolitan City officeThe protestors have put forth a seven-point demand to the City, allowing them to run their business in the respective areas until Dashain and Tihar, among others.
Street vendors from across the Valley came together to protest in front of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City office in Sundhara on Thursday.
Hawkers and street vendors have been demanding the City allow them to run their businesses. Mayor Balendra Shah has taken a strong stance against street vendors for encroaching on footpaths and pedestrian walkways along the City roads. The City under the leadership of Shah has removed street vendors from their usual place of business and banned their fiscal activities.
Street vendors have come together under the banner of the Independent Nationalist Self-employed Labour Struggle Committee under the General Federation of Nepalese Trade Union (GEFONT) Nepal
“Festive season is upon us but the City has banned us from running our businesses,” said Rajkumar Shrestha, secretary-general at the Nepal Street Vendor’s Trade Union.
According to the Union, there are around 10,000 street vendors running their businesses and taking care of their families.
The protestors have put forth a seven-point demand to the City, including but not limited to, allowing them to run their business in the respective areas until Dashain and Tihar, creating a database of actual street vendors, and providing them with identity cards.
The demonstrators are set to provide a memorandum to the City mayor Shah, they say.
Shrestha who facilitated Thursday’s protest said if the City fails to address their immediate problems, the street vendors will take the protest to another level after Tihar.
“We support Shah on his drive to clean up the City and to stop the encroachment of public spaces but he should have first made provisions for us to be able to survive,” said Shrestha.
The City had started to crack down on footpath vendors from the first week of July.