Two Multi-Level Car Parks (MLCP) that can accommodate a total of 570 cars have been constructed in town with a budget of Nu 65mn but they are hardly in use.
The new multi-level car parks are located near the Thromde Office and near the Zangtopelri Complex.
MLCP will be fully operational from mid-July. The MLCP-1 located near Zangtopelri Complex has a capacity for 350 vehicles and MLCP-2 located near Thromde Office can accommodate 220 vehicles. The charge for parking is Nu.10 per hour. The MLCPs have 64 slots for taxis.
People who use the new parking space are minimum while a majority of drivers are seen parking in the old parking lot.
Thimphu Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said, “The expansion, finance, design and operations will be taken by the private concessionaire.”
Thromde also said that the cars will not be allowed to park in Norzin Lam once the MLCPs function fully.
Cheten, a taxi driver in Thimphu said that the multi-car park is not convenient for them as they need to move all the time and they cannot afford to stay put at the parking lot. As of now, only few cars are seen in the new parking lot.
“Till now, we have not been informed to park in the new parking lot, so many of us use the old parking lot,” he said.
The new parking lots aim to ease traffic congestion in the core of Thimphu city and open up spaces in the town.
Tashi Dorji, a regular commuter said, “I am not too sure but I think the new parking lot has helped in reduction of traffic congestion in the town.”
A Thimphu resident, Yeshi Samdrup, said that most of the cars are seen parking in front of the Royal Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) office since they don’t have to pay for the parking space.
The budget estimated for the two MLCPs was Nu 550 million, but due to change in the design of the buildings and installation of lifts and CCTV, it crossed over Nu 800 million. MLCP-1 cost around 70 percent of the total budget and MLCP-2, around 30 percent of the total budget.
Meanwhile the concession agreement was signed on September 1, 2014 between Thimphu Thromde and the Concessionaire with the contract period ending on 30th August 2036.
Sonam Tashi from Thimphu