| June 23, 2017
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Banda and blockade paralyze Madhes

LAHAN, Dec 14: Madhav Thapaliya, a resident of Lalpur Tole in Golbazar, was pleased to see that his hard work of growing off-season vegetables was bearing fruit.

But his dream of expanding his farm from the money he would earn by selling the vegetables got shattered when the forcible ban on the movement of vehicles has affected his mobility to market to sell the produce.
"The vegetable production had filled me with hope of good income this season but after this prolonged strike and blockade I fear my investment might go in vain," said Thapaliya.

Thapaliya is a representative case of the large number of farmers of Lalpur who are affected by the four months long strike and over two months long Indian blockade. These farmers used to transport their produce to the eastern part of Sunsari, Morang districts and to Jaynagar of India.

Similar is the plight of paddy farmers. As they are unable to transport the paddy to market from village, many farmers have started selling their produce at lower prices.

"The strike has worsened our lives. We are struggling for survival because we are unable to sell our produce," complain most of the farmers. Now they have just one curiosity on their mind, "When will the situation return to normal?"

Locals are extremely frustrated with the government for its inaction toward resolving the Madhes problem, and involvement of Madhes protestors themselves in black market of food and essentials.

"The locals want the parties concerned to sit for talks and end the crisis as soon as possible," said Ashok Sah, chairperson of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Siraha.

He added that cold wave has already started in the Tarai and it will worsen the plight of the Madhesi people.