Landi Kotal Bazaar’s conservancy fee sparks unrest

KHYBER  -  In a first-time move, the Tehsil Municipal Authority (TMA) of Landi Kotal has initiated conservancy charges for the delivery of batter and uninterrupted cleanliness services within the main bazaar. However, this introduction has faced rejection from local traders.

Mr Samad, the Tehsil Municipal Officer (TMO) of Landi Kotal, stated on Thursday that the implementation of conservancy fees was deemed necessary to sustain continuous cleanliness activities and to provide a healthy environment for both shopkeepers and visitors. He highlighted that this fee had been enforced under the Local Government Act of 2013 and had already been imposed across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Asserting the essential nature of local fund generation for the semi-government department, Mr Samad emphasized that without it, the TMA would be unable to continue providing services to the locals. He noted that since 2019, the TMA had extended its services by installing dustbins and deploying staff daily to execute cleanliness duties. This included the collection and disposal of garbage to the dumping ground.

Under the new implementation, the TMA plans to levy a daily fee of ten rupees or three hundred rupees per shop, with slightly higher charges for hotels and other large business centres. In return, the TMA commits to cleaning the bazaar twice daily, ensuring the supply of potable water, maintaining functional street lights, and fostering a healthy environment for local businessmen and visitors. Mr Samad urged shopkeepers to accept the conservancy fee, citing its benefits for the bazaar. He cautioned that anyone obstructing its imposition would be dealt with by the law.

Haji Jafar, President of Anjuman-e-Tajeran in Landi Kotal bazaar, rejected the new fee, insisting that the TMA should first deliver services before expecting payment of conservancy charges. He highlighted the neglect faced by the bazaar and suggested that instead of burdening shopkeepers financially, the government should establish development schemes to enhance trade opportunities. Jafar warned of potential protests on the roads if the fee was forcibly imposed.

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