Mango Trade in Lahan, Siraha: Call for Organized Market to Address Safety and Traffic Concerns

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Siraha, Jun 17: Lahan, the mango capital, faces significant challenges in the absence of an organized market for selling and distributing mangoes. Traders and consumers are compelled to buy and sell on the streets, particularly along the East-West Highway under the main market of Lahan, causing traffic disruptions and increasing the risk of accidents.

During the peak mango season in June and July, the roadside markets see a surge in activity, impacting vehicular movement and raising safety concerns. District Traffic Police Office Chief Dambar Bahadur Puri highlights the issue of street vendors encroaching on the road, creating obstacles for vehicles and heightening accident risks. The traffic police are coordinating with Lahan municipality to improve vehicle movement and mitigate risks.

Local traders, such as Ravin Mahato, express the necessity of selling mangoes on the roadside due to the lack of a designated market area. They pay taxes to the municipality yet lack proper facilities, leading to the inconvenience of operating in unsuitable and potentially dangerous locations.

The municipality has initiated efforts to promote locally produced mangoes through branding, collection, grading, packaging, and marketing, aiming to offer pesticide-free mangoes to consumers. However, the inability to manage the local market effectively continues to pose problems for traders, consumers, and travelers.

Prakash Sah Haluwai, head of the municipality’s agriculture branch, acknowledges the difficulties in finding vacant land for an organized market but mentions efforts to find solutions. Shifting the current market space back by at least ten feet is one of the proposed measures to prevent road obstruction.

Lahan municipality has been running a hot bazaar on the Khuttikhola bank, but the growing population has rendered the space insufficient. Consequently, traders are forced to use the East-West Highway for their activities. Mayor Mahesh Prasad Chaudhary admits the challenge of managing the mango market due to limited public land near the highway. He emphasizes the need for a concrete policy to manage the roadside mango market and plans to explore appropriate alternatives to support small businesses and ensure safer market conditions.

The unorganized mango trade in Lahan not only disrupts traffic and poses safety risks but also undermines the potential for proper marketing and distribution of local produce. A concerted effort by the municipality to establish an organized market space is crucial to address these issues, support local traders, and enhance consumer access to quality mangoes.

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