Clogged traf­fic eases in Phuentshol­ing

Business Bhutan - - Front Page - Kr­ishna Ghal­ley

Clogged traf­fic in the bor­der town of Phuentshol­ing, which has been a per­sis­tent prob­lem for years now, is fi­nally show­ing some signs of ease­ment.

Traf­fic con­ges­tion, which hap­pens mostly dur­ing win­ters and dur­ing the morn­ing of­fice hours and evening, has be­come lighter last year com­pared to the sit­u­a­tion that was there a few years back.

Ac­cord­ing to Phuentshol­ing Thromde, un­like the past years, traf­fic was smooth in the pre­vi­ous year. This has been at­trib­uted

to the sec­ond gate which was opened to traf­fic last year, thus al­low­ing one-way ve­hic­u­lar traf­fic move­ment in the core town area. The in­com­ing light ve­hi­cles now route through the sec­ond gate un­like in the past where ve­hi­cles from both sides ma­neu­ver through the main gate.

And di­vert­ing all the gov­ern­ment pro­grams like sem­i­nars and work­shops, which usu­ally hap­pen in Phuentshol­ing to other Dzongkhags, ac­cord­ing to Phuentshol­ing Thromde, has helped to min­i­mize the con­ges­tion.

Phuentshol­ing Thrompon Ut­tar Ku­mar Rai said traf­fic con­ges­tion is a chronic is­sue which can­not be solved overnight.

“But this year with all these ef­forts, it has sub­sided. Of course, traf­fic con­ges­tion hap­pens in ev­ery town. But Phuentshol­ing be­ing un­planned city has the most traf­fic con­ges­tion,” he added.

The main rea­sons for traf­fic con­ges­tion in Phuentshol­ing are due to the nar­row road and the ab­sence of by­pass roads. The town, though be­ing a com­mer­cial hub and the gate­way to the Pasakha In­dus­trial Es­tate, sees all ve­hi­cles in­clud­ing heavy truck­loads en­ter the core town and many loaded trucks get stuck on the mid­way, thus block­ing the traf­fic flow. Float­ing pop­u­la­tion dur­ing the win­ter for shop­ping has been an­other cause for traf­fic con­ges­tion.

The lo­ca­tion of the Depart­ment of Rev­enue and Cus­toms of­fice is also an­other rea­son for the in­creas­ing traf­fic con­ges­tion, ac­cord­ing to ve­hi­cle driv­ers. They say ve­hi­cles have to ma­neu­ver through the main road to reach the of­fice to process for cus­toms clear­ance.

Ad­di­tion­ally, mul­ti­ple on­go­ing projects along the roads in the town have also caused traf­fic ob­struc­tions, ac­cord­ing to the Thrompon. A cou­ple of projects are still un­der­way in­side the town like the con­struc­tion of in­te­grated veg­etable mar­ket, mul­ticar park­ing, mini dry port, and the con­struc­tion of north­ern by­pass route, among oth­ers.

“Once these projects are com­plete, we can ex­pect smooth flow of traf­fic. Till then peo­ple have to be pa­tient,” Ut­tar Ku­mar Rai said.

Hav­ing the lone bridge over Om­chhu to­wards the hos­pi­tal is an­other pos­si­ble cause of traf­fic con­ges­tion as all the ve­hi­cles mov­ing to the other side of the town use the sin­gle road.

“It’s time that the gov­ern­ment must come up with al­ter­na­tives,” 36-yearold driver Tshe­wang Pen­jor said. “In win­ter, we get stuck for al­most half an hour,” he said.

How­ever, the Thrompon as­sures that once all the on­go­ing projects com­plete, traf­fic flow in Phuentshol­ing will be smoother.

“The mini dry port, in­te­grated veg­etable mar­ket and multi-car park­ing are ex­pected to be com­plete this year and the north­ern by­pass in­clud­ing two bridges over Om­chhu is ex­pected to be com­plete by mid-2020. The Thromde will also do away with the sin­gle lane park­ing in­side the town. All the heavy ve­hi­cles will be di­verted through the north­ern by­pass. The town will be free of traf­fic con­ges­tion. We are work­ing tire­lessly to de­con­gest and of­fer smooth traf­fic flow,” he ex­plained.

Mean­while, the Thromde in the 12th Plan also plans to work on con­nect­ing ac­cess roads to dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions, where traf­fic will be di­verted.

A traf­fic po­lice, mean­while, said that peo­ple ne­glect­ing traf­fic laws add to traf­fic con­ges­tion.

“Com­muters though now use ze­bra cross­ings, still they use phones and walk too slow,” he said.

“Some shake hands and hug in the mid­dle of the road, which must be wor­thy of penalty. Traf­fic only pe­nal­izes com­muters for not us­ing ze­bra cross­ing by levy­ing Nu 1,250 as a penalty,” he added.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bhutan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.