To decongest Thimphu Centenary Farmer’s Market (CFM), three vegetable markets are under construction in Thimphu Thromde. The construction will be completed next month.

The new vegetable markets are coming up in Olakha, Changbangdu and Hejo-Samteling area.

Each market would accommodate between 15 to 20 vegetable vendors and about four to five meat shops.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that currently people from different parts of the thromde pour the CFM to buy vegetables.  “If there is a market in the respective areas, people would not have to come to the CFM.”

This, he said, would help decongest the traffic and also address parking problems in the area.

Like the CFM, the new markets would also operate on a fee system.

The Thrompon said that the thromde is yet to decide on the fee amount.  “We will work out and see how much we should charge.”

After the markets are completed, thromde plans to shift all the vegetable stalls or vendors present in the areas to the respective markets. “The current vegetable vendors in Olakha have their stalls on a private land and the space is congested,” he said.

He said that the current meat shops, which are mostly located on the ground floor of the residential buildings, would also be relocated to the new markets. “Our idea is that there should not be meat shops in residential buildings as it is unhygienic and not advisable.”

To improve the condition of meat shops, thromde is also planning to install air conditioners. “It is dirty and smelly. So we need to relocate them.”

Thrompon said that if there were more than five meat shops in an area, a lucky draw would be done to pick the five meat shops to be relocated to the new market. “Others will be left in the same place. We cannot help it but we will try to relocate them when we plan next.”

The vegetable vendors and stalls would be shifted to the new market by July and August this year.

A vendor, Dawa Zangmo has been selling vegetables, dairy products and dried fish products in Olakha for the last three years. “During summers, people come and sell along the streets which reduces our customers. They do not leave until the thromde officials chase them away,” she said.

She said she is hopeful that with the new market, the problem of illegal street hawkers would be resolved.

However, as the new market only allows for vegetables to be sold, she is worried that her products would not have as much varieties as she has now.

The thromde is also planning to construct new vegetable markets in Babesa and Taba.

Karma Cheki