Yangyel Lhaden

Vendors, who got an opportunity to sell from a temporary vegetable market in multi-level car parking 2 (MLCP 2) but had to desert it because there were no buyers, are now hoping they will get to sell from zones.

Thimphu thromde took over 110 parking slots in the MLCP 2 and allotted them to about 25 new vegetables vendors after the Centenary Farmers’ Market (CFM) vendors refused to come and sell from the building.

With business not picking up, vendors were forced to leave, as they were running into loss.  The last nine vendors left since the second lockdown.

A vendor, Sangay Choden, said she finished all the money to set up her business and was running at a loss in the MLCP 2. “We should be given preference to sell from zones like CFM vendors.”

Thromde constructed eight mini vegetable markets and medium vegetable markets in zones will be complete by the end of March.

The thromde’s executive secretary, Karma Namgyel, said that vegetable markets in MLCPs was a temporary measure during Covid-19 to decongest CFM as it was identified as high risk area. “New vendors were given the opportunity to sell at MLCP 2 because CFM vendors did not want to sell from here.”

He said the priority to sell from zones would be given to CFM vendors as per government’s directives. “If there are any counters left, all new vendors will be a given opportunity through lucky dip.”

The thromde, however, has no plan to dismantle the counters in the MLCPs yet.  Karma Namgyel said it could be used in future if there are any lockdowns.

A thromde official in an earlier interview with Kuensel said that MLCP 1 had also been partially converted to vegetable counters but it was not given to vegetable vendors with MLCP 2 unsuccessful.

An official with KCR private limited said that, with unutilised parking space, they hoped vegetable markets would help to occupy the parking space. “People are complaining that the counters are blocking easy entry and exit to the building.”

KCR is waiting for compensation from the thromde for constructing vegetable counters.

“Thromde will finalise the compensation amount,” an official working with KCR said.

An official with thromde, in an earlier interview with Kuensel, said that MLCPs could remain as vegetable market in zones if business picked up, but if it was utilised by cars in the long run it would no longer be a vegetable market.

The zone vegetable market for core town area covered by MCLPs is under construction behind Norling building in the main town.