Phuentsholing Thromde finds it challenging to implement pedestrian way

The Thrompon urges people have to understand the policies and cooperate in developing the Throm and decongest the town

While it has been a little more than a week after the Phuentsholing Thromde removed light vehicle parking along three streets in the town, drivers are yet to heed to the new rule.

Vehicles are still seen parking along the streets where the signboard clearly reads – “Pick and Drop for maximum five minutes only”. And some vehicles are parked there for hours.

The Thromde had made the three streets pedestrian way after formally opening the multilevel car parking at the lower market, which is a few minutes’ walk from the streets.

“Its biggest challenge for us to implement the rule,” Thrompon Uttar Kumar Rai said, adding that Phuentsholing town being a commercial hub and busiest town is always plagued by traffic congestion, especially during the winter.       

Currently, the Thromde has tried to turn the streets along Zangdopelri, Dekiline and Bhutan Hotel as pedestrian way given that the road is narrow. However, they have not been able to make progress.

A traffic police monitoring the vehicle movement said without stringent surveillance, application has become a challenge. So far no vehicle has been penalized by the Royal Bhutan Police’s traffic division for parking along the streets. The white straps are all removed last week.

 For a few days, traffic police have tried strictly to implement the rule, but it failed.

Meanwhile, the Thromde has temporarily allowed vehicles to park for free at the multilevel car parking, which has not seen many vehicles after its opening. The traffic movement from Jaigaon has also been diverted to route through the car parking for a few days.

“Since it’s new in the town, people need time to understand. I hope they will understand later,” the Thrompon said.

 Turning streets into pedestrian way was expected to help decongest the traffic in the town.

The Phuentsholing Thromde now plans to employ ten youth to sensitize and create awareness to the drivers about the pedestrian way and the multilevel car parking. The Thromde expects to bring desired results from the drivers after sensitization and they can the implement the plan.

“Thromde will increase the fees for parking if the people really want comfort,” the Thrompon said, adding that no comfort comes easy.

 Meanwhile, those business communities along the streets have raised concern of impacted business due to decreased customers earlier when the Thromde had turned the streets into pedestrian way. Vehicles were completely stopped to enter the streets and later a few were allowed to park to just pick and drop the passengers.

“Our business went down. People hardly visit now,” a shopkeeper along Bhutan Hotel said.

However, the Thrompon said people have to understand the policies and cooperate in developing the Throm and decongest the town.

“None should voice just for self benefit. In fact such policies should be taken positively as we are doing for all the people and the country as well,” he said.