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Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing

In the last five years, the tiny roadside town of Chengmari in Samtse has come of age in terms of economic growth. It is not only sustaining, it is thriving.

About 12km away from Samtse town, Chengmari now has a growing number of concrete houses. With the increase in population, business has improved. Two manufacturing firms, a central school, and other developments, residents say, have helped make the town vibrant again.

Inside his small shop, Dharmananda Dhimal is busy packing doma. He said he did not regret returning from the capital.

“I used to sell doma in Thimphu and I do the same here. Business depends on the population, which has grown here recently,” he said.

A restaurant owner, Tulasa Ghalley, keeps herself busy tending to customers throughout the day. By 3pm, momo and noodles are almost over in her shop. But the customers keep coming.

“I was the first one to start a restaurant here about five years ago,” she said. “There is a visible population growth in Chengmari and that is helping businesses grow.”

House owners are also earning with all their apartments from rentals.

Krishna Maya Chhetri, a house owner, said all her 11 units were occupied with tenants from different professional backgrounds.

“There are tenants from school and factories,” she said.

Krishna Maya Chhetri owns the biggest shop in the heart of the town and there has not been dearth of customers for the last three years.

An official from the Big Cola said it would be wrong to say Chengmari was growing because of the factory. “But then if most people feel that way, there must be an element of truth in it.”

He said Chengmari was a small sleepy little town when he first visited in 2013. But now with economic activity in terms of construction and other business activities, the town was growing rapidly, he added.

“After the preform factory came the central school,” the Big Cola official said.

Chengmari has also seen a growing number of entrepreneurs recently. A bakery, an ice-cream manufacturing unit and noodle manufacturing unit have also come to the town.

Located on the Samtse-Sipsu highway, Chengmari has also seen growing number of taxis.

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