English | Dzongkha Saturday, July 24, 2021

New entry and exit routes to resolve dispute at Paro vegetable market


Jul 18, 2021

The vegetable market area in Paro town is usually an uneventful place. But on Sundays, it is quite a scene as permanent and local vegetable vendors come to a loggerhead. The dispute is over who gets which spot in the market. The local vendors, who come only on Sundays to sell vegetables, claim that the permanent vendors use the designated spots to sell local produce.  

Local and permanent vendors have to share this temporary space until the permanent vegetable market shed is completed in two years.

At the moment, cubical sheds are allocated to permanent vendors, while local vendors are given semi-permanent structures with roofs during Sundays. But the issue is that the permanent vendors are using the space allocated to local vendors.

“We come to vegetable market just once in a week. When we do, we are not allowed to do our business peacefully. For instance, this morning, we were asked to move three times. Whether we come early or late, we don’t get a proper place to settle down. There are empty spaces on the other side, but we are not able to sell even a gram of salt,” said Zam, a local vendor in Tsento Gewog.

“The shed we are allocated is a bit far from the entrance gate, so customers don’t come till our stall. The stall is also a bit small, and we are not able to accommodate our goods. The amount we sell doesn’t even cover the rent we have to pay for the stall. So, we are using this stall,” said Tandin Zangmo, a permanent vendor.

“The main entry and exit are from here. So, people choose to purchase from the nearby stalls. We tried to sell vegetables from the allocated cubical, but we couldn’t sell goods worth even Nu 5. That is why we had to move here,” said Phub Dem, another permanent vendor.

In the coming week, the dzongkhag administration plans to open different entry and exit points.

“We will be opening the lower gate, which will be used by the villagers coming to sell their produce. So, we will have two entry gates and two exit gates. We are requesting the local vegetable vendors to use the lower gate to enter the market area,” said Kinley Gyeltshen, Senior Paro Dzongrab.

“To avoid crowding, from Sunday, we will seek help from Desuung, Police, local leaders and relevant officials to settle the vendors from the lower gate. Crowding at this unprecedented time is not allowed, so we will make sure the issue is solved,” said Tshering N Penjore, chief agriculture officer of Paro.

There are close to 90 cubicles allocated to the permanent vendors. However, only about 30 cubicles are used on Sundays.

Namgay Wangchuk, Paro

Edited by Sherub Dorji

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