English | Dzongkha Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Only few vendors allowed to operate, Monggar

Jan 13, 2021

To curb the spread of the virus, the second nationwide lockdown was enforced from December 23. This move has no doubt helped in controlling the spread but it has also affected many people depending on their daily businesses. Such is the case with the vegetable vendors in Monggar. When the government announced the unlocking, they were relieved that they might be able to sell whatever is not damaged but their hopes were cut short. Only after requesting the Dzongkhag COVID-19 Taskforce, seven vendors were allowed to operate in the town since yesterday.

One of the vendors is 43-year-old Tashi Dema from Lhuentse. She said she made several phone calls to the Taskforce to consider her business after the lockdown was eased.

“We are scared of the COVID-19 pandemic. But apart from the virus, we might die out of worries. I get a headache whenever I think of the debts. I have many debts to other vendors,” said Tashi Dema.

Tashi and six other vendors were allowed to sell for two days, which ends today. But according to the Dzongkhag, they will be allowed to operate until further relaxation.

Including Tashi, currently, there are 18 vendors in Monggar vegetable market. Vendors said they earn their livelihood by selling vegetables and fruits. And due to the lockdown, some of the vendors said they were not able to pay house rents and loans.

“During the lockdown, vegetable worth almost Nu 100,000 were damaged,” said Leptang Mo, a vendor.

“Almost 50 to 60 kilograms of garlic and other vegetables got damaged during the lockdown,” said Khandu Wangmo.

The affected vendors said that proper consultation is necessary to allow them to sell on a rotational basis during such a lockdown. The vendors were unaware of how the Dzongkhag identified only three vendors to operate during the lockdown.

Senior District Agriculture Officer, Kunzang Tshering said the three vendors were identified to operate considering the factors such as having their own vehicles.

However, the Taskforce plans to give equal opportunities to all the vendors on a rotational basis should the nation enforce another lockdown.

Sonam Tshering, Monggar

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