Yangyel Lhaden

Without many buyers at the multi-level car parking (MLCP) II, about 20 vendors have given up their business. The nine vendors still operating their business at the area wants to be relocated to other zones at the soonest.

MLCP II was opened as a vegetable market on October 10 this year as an interim measure for vendors of Centenary Farmers’ Market (CFM) to operate until the Covid-19 situation gets better.

The area was allotted to new vendors after vendors from the CFM refused to sell from the area.

A vendor, Sangay Choden, who started doing business after the MLCP II was opened , said that she could hardly earn about Nu 500 a day. “We don’t even get a single buyer on many days.”

All vendors operating there face the same problem.

They said that getting vegetable was another problem and they had to buy from vendors at CFM as they could not buy from distributors in huge quantities without buyers.

A vendor, Rubmari Darjee, said that with the thromde allowing even grocery shop owners to sell vegetables, not many people came to MLCP II.

Vendors also claim they incurred huge loss for starting their business at the area. “We should be given first preference to sell from vegetable markets in zones where the business would be better to recover losses,” a vendor said.

Thimphu thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that the preference to vend from vegetable markets in the zone would be given to CFM vendors as per government’s directive and the excess slots would be given to other vendors on lucky dip.

He, however, said that the thromde decided to exempt vendors at MLCP II to pay rent until their business picks up.

The thromde took over the management of vegetable markets at both MLCPs and compensated the management of the car parks, KCRfor infrastructure developed. After two weeks of management, KCR submitted a letter to thromde office requesting to surrender the management of vegetable markets fearing they would not be able to recover the money spent on infrastructure.

Thromde officials said  that although they received many applicants from individuals wanting to sell vegetables, not many had turned up to do business.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that new vendors were mostly unemployed youths without money to start business. “This is why MLCP II was not occupied to full capacity.”

Although the thromde had plan for a formal launch of vegetable market at MLCP II, it could not launched since it had not been occupied to its full capacity.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that the thromde was studying the situation and  hoped the situation to get better before coming up with a final decision on MLCP II vendors.