ANN/KUENSEL – After days of heavy downpours, the skies have cleared. The air is festive at the former archery ground at Tsongdu in Paro.
The vendors are dressed in their best. They are excited to finally settle at the Ka Ja Throm. Without a proper place for stalls, the vendors had been shifting places for many years.
Built upon the Royal command as a gift from His Majesty The King, Ka Ja Throm embraces the value of income generation and vibrant community space.
Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering inaugurated the new town, located opposite to Ugyen Pelri Palace grounds.
Public from around the town and tourists joined the celebration.
“We feel blessed,” said a vendor, Dago Bidha.
She expects the business to improve in the future. The place where she had her stall before was filled with potholes. “It was inconvenient for both vendors and customers.”
The vendors did not have a proper road connection. The market was an eyesore.
Ka Ja Throm is well organised, spanning a huge area. There are four rows of sheds, 147 stalls for vegetables, fruits, meat and other local produce. It has in-built storage boxes and sockets.
The vendors are categorised into groups according to their products. They have to sell only from the designated stalls. Dago Bidha occupies a stall in the poultry line.
Another vendor, Tshering Zangmo operates her business from the doma line.
As foreign guests started arriving in the country, she said that the sales are expected to improve. “Trekking tours take bulks of domas. Local consumers make up a small portion of the customers,” she said.
She is looking forward to earning as much as she did during the pre-Covid times.
Most of the vendors are women.They will operate their businesses from Ka Ja Throm until the construction of the permanent Farmer’s Market is completed. Vendors have to pay Nu 4,000 monthly rent.
A children’s park and an open-air live-band stage are also part of the Paro Ka Ja Throm.
The Prime Minister said that the town would not only be a place to buy and sell vegetables but would also help enhance the locals’ physical and mental well-being. Such safe, clean, and unique spaces, he said, would help improve visitor experience.
The Ka Ja Throm is part of an overall initiative to enhance the beauty and vitality of Paro town.
The Paro greening initiative is carried out by the Paro Dzongkhag Administration with support from the Royal Academy Construction Project team, regional offices, dzongkhag court, and the people of Paro.