The vendors at the Gelephu vegetable shed have been requesting for power supply at the vegetable shed for a very long time but to no avail. The vendors said that in the absence of power supply at the vegetable market, it becomes very inconvenient for them to do business at night.
“Most of the customers prefer to shop at night due to intense heat in the afternoon but without the power supply in the area, it has become very inconvenient for us, as well as the buyers to purchase vegetable at night,” said one of the vendors, Vishnu Maya.
Another vendor, Aum Lemo said that they have to depend on the electric torch light and candles to do business in the dark. “We bring charged the electric torch light from our home but the power gets exhausted before we even wrap up for the day. So when people rush at the later time of the day, it becomes very difficult for everyone of us to carry our business efficiently. We raised this issue during meetings with the thromde officials several times and requested for power supply, but they always say it cannot be done.” She also added that using candle poses risk of fire in the area.
While the Gelephu Thrompon Tikaram Kafley said that his office did not receive any complaints as of yet on the matter. “The main reason we’ve denied power supply in the vegetable sheds is due to issues concerning sanitation. When power supply was provided earlier, it was noticed that the vendors started cooking and sleeping in the area itself,” justified the thrompon. He added that it was unnecessary for the vendors to stay late as most of the purchases are done during the day. “If people are really busy during the day and cannot make it, we also have allowed separate permanent vegetable sheds outside the main market, which are in fact open week long.”
The thromde Environment Officer at Gelephu said that besides sanitation, it was also passed as a resolution of the thromde thogde which comprises of many relevant officials to prohibit power supply in the vegetables sheds as it also posed security threats. “Cases concerning theft and gang fights have been reported earlier when people where allowed to stay in late for the night. Now in the absence of light they have to wrap up at the latest by 7or 8 PM or else the appointed supervisor will impose penalty,” said the environment officer. In order to make sure no one stays after the allowed time, the main gate of the vegetable market is closed.
However, thrompon Tikaram said that they’ve already put up proposal to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest for the construction of a new convenient vegetable shed in the town. “We are yet to hear from the ministry and even if it does not get through this time, the plan for new vegetable shed will be included in the 12th FYP.