One of the oldest bazaars in Jhapa falls into decayOver 5,000 households living around the Bhagudubba area rely on the market for everyday essentials.
Bhagudubba is one of the oldest markets of Barhadashi Rural Municipality in Jhapa district. The marketplace, near the border between Nepal and India, is spread over one bigha of land and has more than 50 different shops.
Over 5,000 households living around the Bhagudubba area rely on the market for everyday essentials since this is the only market in the area. The only other option for the locals is to travel to Rajgad, five kilometres away.
However, the bustling market lacks proper drinking water facilities, proper sewage system and toilets. Locals complain about the difficulties they have to face because of the negligence of the authorities and their mismanagement. “People have set up shops in a haphazard manner blocking public accessway,” said Sovitman Tamang, a local. “We have asked the local authority to upgrade the market and introduce some sense of order. But nobody has come forward with a solution.”
Local authorities too believe the market is losing its sheen because of mismanagement, said Shambhu Rajbanshi, the ward chairman of Barhadashi Rural Municipality Ward No.1.
The marketplace that used to be open for business twice a week on Friday and Tuesday now opens for three days a week following the locals' demand. “This is an important market for the locals; we had requested the local unit to run the market thrice a week instead of twice. Seeing how the locals depend on this market, the Barhadashi Rural Municipality should develop this place,” said Prabin Rajbanshi, another local.
In view of the complaints and the problems faced by the people, local authorities have begun efforts to manage the market.
“This marketplace has remained unchanged since my childhood,” said Shambhu Rajbanshi, ward chairman of Barhadashi Ward No. 1. “We are making efforts to upgrade and manage the marketplace better.”
Rajbanshi said that a master plan has been prepared to manage and modernise the marketplace. “The Ilam-based Urban Development and Building Construction Division Office has shown interest in upgrading the marketplace,” said Rajbanshi, “The office had conducted a survey, about a month ago, regarding the matter.”
According to Rajbanshi, the masterplan includes the construction of organised stalls, proper sewage system, public toilets, provisions for clean drinking water, solar light, open parking spaces, among others.
Suman Mishra, the chief at the Urban Development and Building Construction Division Office, informed that, following the survey, they have decided to allocate budget as per the masterplan to upgrade the marketplace in the upcoming fiscal year.