Choki Wangmo

Owing to an overwhelming number of calls for vegetable delivery and mounting pressure on the thromde to meet demands, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests has introduced an emergency measure to deliver vegetables in packages in different zones in Thimphu starting 4pm yesterday.

Across different zones in Thimphu, pick-up trucks were allocated to deliver packaged vegetable items which include potatoes, tomatoes, onion, green chilli, garlic, and ginger amounting to Nu 360. Each truck has three foresters and a De-Suup to deliver and observe proper health protocols.

In his Facebook page, agriculture minister Yeshey Penjore posted that for equity distribution, there would be limitations to purchase in the first round of delivery.

“The door-to-door service will continue until we have phase two service in place.”

Lyonpo said that the stocks of vegetables were mobilised and packaged at the Centenary Farmers Market (CFM) by De-Suups, agriculture and CFM officials.

When the trucks arrive at various places, De-Suups on duty will make announcements but the ministry is yet to issue timing of delivery in different areas. Only one person from each household is allowed to collect the package. Lyonpo said that both types of payment—e-payment system and cash—was accepted to reduce inconvenience for users.

The Prime Minister’s page announced: “This is to complement the delivery of essentials through the agents under the thromde. While this lot of vegetables are from the CFM storage, the ministry has already started receiving agriculture produce from the districts.”

Until August 13, the Thimphu Thromde had regulated the delivery but netizens took to social media and complained about delayed delivery, switched off contact numbers or busy lines to place their orders. Users said that the toll-free number announced by the thromde did not work even.

The thromde, however, would continue to deliver in small quantities as per the demands of the individuals or special items unlike the delivery made by the ministry where the consumers did not have the choice to pick up what they needed.

In phase two of the delivery, sub-zones with an outlet will be created in the eight stock centres in Thimphu, which is expected to ensure efficient delivery.