Transhipment costly to vegetable vendors

Kelzang Wangchuk |  Samdrupjongkhar

Samdrupjongkhar thromde residents might have to pay extra price for vegetables, as vendors have to transship it from Tshelinggor.

Vendors, who brought vegetables from Trashigang and Trashiyangtse, were initially allowed to transport vegetables until Aath Kilo, which is eight kilometres away from Samdrupjongkhar town and transship from there. Vendors constructed a shed spending about Nu 100,000.

With Samdrupjongkhar declared a high-risk area last month, Covid-19 task force of Trashigang and Trashiyangtse do not issue permits to vehicles ferrying vegetables to Samdrupjongkhar beyond Tshelinggor now. Tshelinggor is about 77 kilometres (km) from Samdrupjongkhar towards Trashigang.

A vegetable vendor, Sangay Choden, said they pay Nu 3,000 to transport the vegetables from Tshelinggor to Samdrupjongkhar. “People complain about the price if we charge high but we have no choice.”

Another vendor, Zangmo, said it is challenging for vendors like her who do not have a vehicle.

She said she paid Nu 3,500 to transship vegetables from Tshelinggor last week.

Vendors said they requested the dzongkhag administration and officials told them that they would discuss it in a meeting.

They threatened they might have to stop the business if they have to continue transshipping.

A vendor, Ugyen Dema, said she had to cancel a truckload of vegetables from Trashiyangtse, as the task force members issued movement permit only until Tshelinggor. “I requested the security officials at Tshelinggor but they did not allow.”

She said constructing a shed at Tshelinggor would be an extra burden for them. “It will not only affect us but all consumers as the cost would trickle down.”

Ugyen also said they would not only be able to sell the vegetables at the price fixed by the taskforce, but won’t be able to transport vegetables henceforth.

Zangmo said they would be grateful if vehicles ferrying vegetables be allowed till Aath Kilo.

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