Jorsal in Phidim Municipality-4 is the oldest market in Panchthar. This market, which has been developed as the commercial center of the district since 2025 B.S., was also a wholesale center until a decade ago. But now this market is deserted. There is zero commercial activity here.
Business activity is also slow in the capital, Phidim Bazar. Businessmen here say that there has been a slowdown in business for the past few years. The commercial activities here have gone down since the new city project started with the aim of organizing the Phidim market and making it the center of attraction.
As the population of the hills gradually decreased along with the expansion of roads to the rural areas, the old markets slowed down. With the implementation of federalism, business activities have been decentralized. which has an impact on old markets.
Phidim Market Is Badly Affected By The Roadways
“Phidim’s business has dried up,” says Jeevan Tumbapo, a clothing trader. “The market has slowed down since the road reached the village.”
After the road facility was reached, the traders of the rural areas started doing business directly from Birtamod in Jhapa. The goods are loaded directly into the vehicle from Birtamod and dropped at the village. This has slowed down the old markets, including the headquarters.
Like Phidim and Jorsal, business activity has also slowed down in the Jorpokhari market located in Hilihang rural municipality and Tharpu market in Yangwarak rural municipality.
Until the extension of roads to the rural areas, these markets were very popular for commercial activities. However, now these markets are also deserted, Tharpu businessman Prakash Neupane said.
The activity of the Tharpu market, which is the focal point of more than a dozen villages in Panchthar’s Nagi, Oyam, Falaincha, Changthapu, and Taplejung, has slowed down after the road reached those areas.
Tarahang Tawa, a resident of Tharpu, said that since the road connected the people of the rural areas with the headquarters and Birtamode, the business transactions in the old markets of the district became almost zero.
Tawa remarked, “This market was the center of around ten villages, but now it is abandoned.”
In the past, Urle’s booming market with customers from Sidin, Yangnam, Memeng, Ekteen, Prangbung, Subang, Panchami, etc., has also slowed down as the road reached those areas. Road expansion has opened new markets in the rural areas of the district. Some old markets have been displaced.
The old markets that flourished due to the Mechi highway have been slowed down with the development of rural roads.
Due to the declining population in the hills, commercial activity in the markets has slowed down. “Landlords here have invested in Terai,” said Navraj Ghimire, president of the Panchthar Industry and Commerce Association.