Garment vendors at Mongar tshechu stalls claimed of earning less this year due to lack of customers.

About 200 stalls opened at the four-day Mongar tshechu that ended on November 17.

A vendor Ugyen Dorji, said that the drastic decrease in the income would have been due to the banning of games at the tshechu this year.

He added that if clothes worth Nu 100,000 were brought at the tshechu, the sellers used to return home with about Nu 200,000 in the past.

“This year people are not coming to the stalls. I think this is because of the games, which is being stopped this year. The tshechu will end tomorrow and I have earned only about Nu 30,000.”

The vendors spent about Nu 8,000 on the plots and electricity at the stalls.

Another vendor who had come from Thimphu, Tshering Choezom, said that her income compared to last year decreased almost by 50 percent. “I just hope that we can have returns on the expenses.”

Another vendor from Thimphu had come for the first time with her stock at the tshechu. “I heard that the tshechu here went really well and I was hoping to earn a lot but it isn’t going as expected. I regret coming here.”

The dzongkhag committee this year had banned the conduct of all games at the tshechu.

Mongar dzongdag Ugen Sonam said activities that included betting consisted of gambling, which was illegal.

He added that as some games were difficult to be defined, the committee decided to ban all the games in uniformity.

Unlike last year, only clothing and restaurants were allowed to be opened at the stalls this year.

Last year of about 200 stalls, 30 were for games. This year of about 200 stalls, 24 were for food.

Mongar’s municipal engineer, Ram Bdr Darjee, said that the decision was made at a meeting including the representatives from thromde, tshgopas, and dzongkhag representatives.

He added that last year, although people had the stalls for games during the day, at night people gambled. “Last year we had issues of fighting, noises and cases where people were injured. And the stalls didn’t close as per the time and the police had to go monitor at night.”

The decision to ban games at the tshechu was also announced through the media.

Ram Bdr Darjee said that according to the LG Act, the committee had the right to ban games at tshechu if necessary.

He added that while the tshechu had visitors similar to last year, people visiting the stalls might have decreased. “When the vendors knew that the stalls wouldn’t have games, some chose to visit Trashigang tshechu, which was two days prior to Mongar tshechu.”

Phurpa Lhamo  | Mongar