Food hawkers start afresh

Thukpa (rice/noodle soup) hawkers have suffered from the ban on selling street food for the past three to four months. They saw their income disappear, causing much unhappiness among them.

However, after the government lifted the ban, the street food hawkers and customers are happy.

Economic Affairs Minister, Norbu Wangchuk, made the inauguration of the sale of thukpa with a group of street hawkers. Many of the hawkers did brisk business.

The thukpa sellers are to follow proper guidelines, such as taking care of their garbage, ensure that hygienically prepared thukpa, momo, puri and tea sold, and they are not allowed sell any grocery items.

The vendors are being assigned with designated places and specific timings to operate the business. They have assigned the city bus parking above Changlimithang for conducting their business.

The vendors are to start their business from 7 pm until 11:30 pm during non-party days (Monday, Thursday and Sunday) and until 1:30 am during party days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday). They are not allowed to do the business on Tuesday.

If they happen to fail to take care of disposing their garbage then every thukpa vendor is liable for a fine of Nu 1000 each. They are to wear aprons, mask around their mouth and a cap.

Lyonpo said that the government is supportive and happy to lift the ban knowing the fact that 45 thukpa vendors have to support their families from such business.

Lyonpo also said, they will see how it goes and thereafter they will decide to let in more number of vendors.

A 39-year-old vendor, Penjor Tshering, said, “I am happy with the government’s decision on lifting the ban. In the last few months, I worked as waiter but they prefer educated staff.”

He said before they could earn Nu 800 to Nu 1000 in a night, but now, with more number of vendors in one area, they may not be able to earn much.

24-year-old Dil Maya said the income from thukpa business helps support her  three siblings.

“In-order to survive, in the past three months I have collected scraps and cartoon but that wasn’t enough to make a leaving out of it. I don’t get the scrap everyday,” she said.

Tshering Lhamo, another vendor also the Tshogpa of the group said she had to sell her old model car during the ban to make ends meet.

“We will make sure to abide by the law and to follow the guideline provided by the government,” she said.




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