Locals of Gorkha district who were already reeling under problems arising from earthquake are now grappling with a new kind of crisis that is entirely man-made.
Massive presence of national and international non-government organizations and their staffers in the district has led to unprecedented price hike, making life even more difficult for the locals.
Soon after the earthquake, many NGOs and INGOs rushed to set up their offices or deploy their staffers in the areas to execute relief and rehabilitation projects. But their heavy presence has triggered a massive price hike in the local markets, according to locals.
Shree Krishna Poudel, who had been living in a rented room at Naya Bazaar in the district headquarters, was forced to vacate the room by his landlord. As it turned out, the house owner wanted to let the room to an NGO that was wiling to pay a handsome rent.
Poudel and other renters who were forced to leave the house had a hard time finding a room that suited their budget.
Since most of the houses in the district have been destroyed, finding a room is proving a big challenge for the renters forced to move out by their landlords.
The home owners are letting their rooms either to their relatives or the NGOs. As a result, laborers, students and others living in rented houses have been hit hard by the rising rent.
Over 30 NGOs and INGOs, including UN, WFP, World Vision International, and Save The Children, have been implementing relief and rehabilitation projects in the affected areas of Gorkha district. Many such organizations have rented one to three buildings in the district headquarters paying hefty rent to landlords.
Even Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) Gorkha chapter has rented its own building to CIRS at Rs 200,000 per month and shifted its offices to a local’s house paying just Rs 25,000 per month.
Many local organizations and landlords who have rented their buildings to I/NGOs for a high price have shifted themselves to other houses that are less costly.
Meanwhile, Chief District Officer (CDO) Udhav Timalsena said that the District Administration Office (DAO) cannot take any action until affected renters file complaints at the office.
The price hike is not just limited to accommodation as transportation fares have also increased four times the normal rate. This has ultimately led to a surge in the prices of daily commodities, according to local entrepreneurs.