Pithoragarh, Oct 5 (PTI) A relay hunger strike by traders in the border town of Jhulaghat here demanding opening of a bridge connecting India and Nepal entered its eighth day on Monday.
The agitating traders want resumption of regular traffic along the bridge between the two countries due to heavy losses caused by its prolonged closure in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
'Around 300 traders of this border town have incurred a loss of Rs 15 crore together in the last six months as almost all our buyers come from the far western Nepalese districts of Baitari, Dadeldhura and Bazang,' Jhulaghat Vyapar Sangh president Jagdish Joshi said.
Besides resumption of regular traffic along the border bridge, the traders are also demanding compensation from the government for their losses, he said.
'All traders of the town are facing acute financial distress for the last six months and if not compensated, they will be forced to abandon their traditional occupation and migrate from the town,' Joshi said.
The traders association has submitted a six-point charter of demands to Pithoragarh district administration which includes speedy construction of a road between Tanakpur and Jauljibi.
'If the proposed road gets constructed soon, Jhulaghat traders will get more buyers from Indian villages as they will get linked by the road. It will end our exclusive dependence on Nepalese clients,' secretary of the association Hari Ballabh Bhatt said.
Not only traders of Jhulaghat but those from other border towns like Dharchula, Jauljibi, Baluakot and Daura have been hit by the closure of the bridge, Bhatt said. PTI CORR ALM RHL