Thursday, 29 October, 2020
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House owners in Manakamana Bazaar waive rent



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By Our Correspondent
Gorkha, Oct. 17: Bhimlal Shrestha of Manakamana Bazaar in the district has announced to waive the house rent to three shopkeepers running business in his house.
He said that since Manakamana Bazaar had not re-opened despite the lifting of lockdown a few months ago, he decided not to charge the rent of the entire period right from the day one.
"Shops are their main sources of income and they pay my rent from that income. If there is no business, how can they pay me the rent? I have said them that once the situation becomes normal and they start running their business as usual, they can pay the rent from that day," said Shrestha.
His decision cost him about Rs. 396,000. The shopkeepers are very happy after hearing the house owner’s decision. "I alone would pay more than 150,000 house rent in a year. Rent of seven months has crossed Rs. 100,000. Our landlord is a man with good heart. How beautiful the country would be if it had many people like him," said Hom Narayan Shrestha, one of the shopkeepers.
Likewise, Achal Thapa, Ward Chair of Shahid Lakhan Gaunpalika-2, Mankamana, has also decided not to collect the rent. He has rented out his house in Manakamana to an entrepreneur from Bajhang who used to pay Rs. 100,000 a month which means Thapa had waived Rs. 700,000 – the rent of the past seven months.
"He was paying Rs. 100,000 a month in rent but the hotel has remained closed since the outbreak of the pandemic. Even from the humanitarian point of view, it wouldn't be good to ask money from him, he would pay when the hotel comes into operation," said Thapa.
Since he inherited the house from his father, he has not much economic burden even if he waves the rent.
Similarly, Kalakar Thapa, another house owner in the market, has waived about Rs. 500,000 in rent.
He has rented out his house to an Indian national from Motihari who runs a sweet shop in Manakamana. About 215 traders and entrepreneurs are associated with the Gorkha Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Manakamana. Most of their landlords has announced rental waiver from 50 per cent to 100 per cent.
"Most of the house owners are ready to offer at least 50 per cent waiver while others have announced waiver right from day one," said Hari Shrestha, chair of the GCCI Manakamana Unit. The announcement has given a great relief to the entrepreneurs.
However, while many of the house owners have announced waving the house-rent, those who had built their house taking loan are in trouble.
Shrestha said that mutual understanding was developed in numerous cases.
As the government has not allowed re-opening of religious sites even after the lifting lockdown, Manakamana Bazaar has not come into operation. Almost all of the businesses here are depended on the pilgrims and tourists visiting the Manakamana Temple, one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in the country.
The attraction of temple has enhanced after it was connected with country’s first cable car. The cable car is also suffering losses in millions of rupees.
The business community in Manakamana has agreed to re-open all the businesses right after Tihar, on November 16. 

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