Villages flourishing, headquarters losing charm

PARBAT, March 3: There was a time when the locals of all 55 VDCs of Parbat had to reach the district headquarters Kushma even for minor recommendations or administrative work. Each time they reached the headquarters, they had to stay there at least for one day. Many people used to come here for business purpose as well. However, after the formation of the local government, the movement of people has decreased significantly in Kushma.

This has badly affected the business here.  Surprisingly, while the business in the district headquarters is going down, it is booming in the rural parts. Especially the areas situated near the office of local units are more crowded. Huwas of Paiyun Rural Municipality, Wahakithati of Bihadi Rural Municipality, Balakot of Mahashila Rural Municipality, Khanigaun of Falebas Municipality, Mallaj of Jaljala Rural Municipality, Patichaur of Modi Rural Municipality have emerged as the major market areas after the formation of the local government.

According to Jiwan Uchai Thakuri, chief of Mahashila-5, people have started investing in micro- and mini-businesses in the rural parts after local elections. This has greatly expanded markets in the rural parts. It has equally benefited the villagers as they no longer have to walk for hours for buying anything. Ek Bahadur Hamal, who has been engaged in hotel business in Lunkhu Bazaar, says the hotel business has expanded in the villages after the formation of the local units. The villagers are back to their villages which once wore a deserted look.

On the other hand, the entrepreneurs and shopkeepers of Kushma have started worrying about their dropping business. The fear of getting into loss has compelled some businessmen to limit their business activities. Some of the small hotels and restaurants in the district headquarters have already been closed while many others are about to be.

As most government services are available in their own local units, villagers have stopped visiting the headquarters. This in turn has badly affected the business of hotels, according to Umapati Sapkota, who owned a hotel in Kushma. Sapkota who had been running a hotel for more than a decade was obliged to shut his business recently. “I was tired of waiting for guests. As I was facing loss I was left with no other option than closing the hotel,” laments Sapkota.

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