Chhimi Dema

The lower market or the Centenary Farmers Market area in Thimphu is a crowded place. There is literally no space for pedestrians as shops display their goods on the footpath.

Migma, 58, said that it was inconvenient for shoppers with fruits crates lined up on the footpath. On weekends, there is hardly any space to walk.

Vendors displaying their fruits and vegetables cover sections of the footpath.

A shopkeeper said that the Thromde had asked vendors and shopkeepers to clear footpath. “Thromde should remove the vendors if Thromde want us to keep our goods inside. We pay rent and the vendors do not. It is not fair.”

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that when the officials from the Thromde visited the market, the goods displayed are pulled inside. They are back on the footpath once the Thromde officials are gone.

He said that discussions were held with the shopkeepers. “We told them that if all shopkeepers kept their goods inside, buyers would come inside to shop.”

Some shopkeepers said that some of the vendors do not even have a trade licence.

Kinlay Dorjee said that the Thromde would remind people if people sold goods on government land. And if people sold on private land, the landowners should remind them he said.

A civil servant said that the people had to use the road while shopping. “It is a risky affair.”

“If they do not listen, we will close the road. The whole road would be made pedestrian road,” said Kinlay Dorjee.