Taxi drivers in Trashigang are not happy with the municipality’s decision to shift the taxi parking at the new parking lot, below the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) office.
The decision comes after the completion of the new parking lot in town.
In order to resolve the parking space crunch in the town, the new parking lot was constructed last year. The new parking resembles a flyover bridge which can accommodate 50-60 vehicles.
Currently, the taxi parking is located at the heart of the town and of the 20 plus parking bays only 11 are designated for taxis.
Tshering Dorji, a taxi driver from Trashigang said that shifting the taxi parking below the RSTA office will affect their business. “The new taxi parking is located at the edge of the town and it will be difficult for the cabbies to get passengers.”
He also said that shifting the taxi parking from the heart of the town to the edge will definitely affect business. “It will be difficult to get customers because the shops are away from the new location,” he said. “In fact it will cause inconvenience for both the taxi drivers and passengers.”
Another taxi driver, Sangay said that cabbies will faces difficulties in finding passengers once shifted. “We already suffer because only a small pool of passengers is available in the present parking.”
One taxi driver said that shifting the taxi parking below the RSTA office will allow private vehicles to pounce on their business as there are some private vehicles that function like taxies in town.
However, an official from RSTA said that private vehicles plying as commercial vehicle is not allowed. “We have penalized some of the offenders upon receiving the reports with evidences,” he said. “There is nothing much we can do until and unless people report it to us.”
There are 53 taxis registered under the Trashigang taxi association.
Meanwhile, the Chief Engineer from the municipal office, Pema Dechen said that since the present taxi parking space is cramped, the authority has decided to shift the location. “Shifting of the taxi parking will also solve traffic congestion and parking space crunch in the town.”
The engineer added that the taxi parking was supposed to be shifted on July 23 but due to the flood on July 22, it was delayed.
The new parking lot was constructed at a cost of Nu 55.6mn.
Jigme Wangchen from Trashigang