Thimphu Tshechu will see the Norzin Lam covered with stalls once again but the difference this year will be that there will be a higher number of stalls meaning more variety for Tshechu goers and also more rental revenue for the Thromde.
While the revenue is good for the Thromde but at the same time, they talked about how challenging it is to manage so many stalls.
The estimated amount that the Thromde earned from the stalls this year is Nu.1, 575,000 whereby the amount in 2014 came to around Nu.900, 000.
Last year Thromde charged Nu.500 per stall per day but this year they are charging nu.1000 per day per stall.
The Thromde actually estimated only 525 stalls for this year but since there are more people coming and requesting for stalls they have increased it to 560 stalls and the space for each stall is 3meter by 3 meter.
According to Tshering Peljor, Chief Environment Officer, the Thimphu Thromde, has submitted a proposal to BoB asking for the empty space at the old BoB office which is just above the RICBL office but they are still waiting for the approval.
He said, “If we can get approval from them, than we can provide 50 to 60 more stalls to the people”. He said that they have given the Changlimithang space to RENEW as an indirect fund support.
Thromde is collecting Nu.300 per day per stall from RENEW whereas they are collecting Nu.1000 per day per stall from stalls at Norzin Lam.
“There are no criteria saying that the individual with a business license is only eligible but out main objective is to provide a platform to every individual whereby they can promote their business”, he said.
“Before we use to have stalls in-front of the Handicraft bazaar but keeping in mind the traffic congestion, we decided not to give that area to avoid traffic congestions”, he said.
In addition, he also said that, there would be no gambling starting this year since they have come across certain issues in the past year.
He said, “The stalls will be allowed only for garments, foods, games and toys”.
Talking about the challenges, he said, “We face a lot of challenges, as firstly we have to close the traffic which leads to traffic congestion.”
Secondly, he said that, will all the main roads being closed whenever there are any medical emergencies, they have to follow all longer routs that may lead to serious cases.
More people with limited space is another challenge. He said, “We cannot provide everyone with the space and this leads to certain conflict.” He said a major challenge that they face is to handle waste management as it is difficult clean up the waste at the end of three days.
“Since we are charging them for a stall, it is our responsibility to deal with all the waste”, he added.
The space in Norzin Lam is divided into two blocks, block-I is below the main traffic and block II is above the main traffic.
They have 170 applicants pending where the Thromde is planning to provide them the stalls in Changlimithang but only if the space is not enough in Norzin Lam.
He also said that, the number of people coming for stalls this year is double than last year and they did not expect that the numbers will be this high.
The amount collected will go directly to the Thromde revenue since only 30 percent of the budget is subsidized by the government and they have to make the rest themselves.
Meanwhile, talking to some people who managed to get the stalls they shared that it was very hard for them to get the stalls.
Chandra, who runs a small pan shop said, “Last year I could make some good income out of it and I hope I can do the same this year”, adding that she is eagerly waiting for the Tshechu.
“I can’t afford to sell expensive products but I am planning to sell only toy products which I personally went to shop from Siliguri”, she added with smile.
Another shopkeeper said that, she nearly had a fight while going to get the stalls in Thromde office. “People were rushing for the stalls and I could not breath, as I was trapped in crowd”, she said.
She said, “Finally I got stall in Norzin Lam and this being my first time running a stall I am not so sure how I can do and manage it all by myself”.
Tashi, a 13 year old girl said that although she does not know what really Tshechu is all about, she said, “I want to visit it with my family and I am very eager to do so”.
A civil servant said that, though he wanted to stay and witness Tshechu with his friend, he said, “I want to visit my family in Gelephu where I can get time to be with them for a moment”.