Nima Wangdi

In the past year, seven new passenger bus transport service routes have been introduced, connecting various places according to the Prime Minister’s State of the Nation (SoTN) report, which was distributed in Parliament last Friday.

“With this, 151 gewogs are now connected with public transport services,” the report stated.

The new routes include Thimphu to Gasa; Damphu to Thimphu; Nimshong to Thimphu; Nimtola (Dorona) to Thimphu; Lhuentse to Mongar; Thimphu to

Sombaykha via Haa; and Thimphu to Pemagatshel via Mongar.

The report stated that, with the approval of five temporary routes, public transport operators affected by the suspension of services due to the pandemic were able to continue services for travellers from high- to low-risk areas.

“The identified routes were Thimphu to Trashiyangtse; Thimphu to Samdrupjongkhar; Thimphu to Samdrupjongkhar via Mongar; Thimphu to Pemagatshel via Mongar; and Thimphu to Sombaykha via Haa,” the report stated.

It stated that in Thimphu, to provide more convenient transportation, the turnaround time for city bus services has been reduced from 15 to 5 minutes. “This was made possible with the procurement of additional city buses.”

The report states that a service centre has been opened in Babesa to provide vehicle- and license-related services to reduce crowding at the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) office in Lungtenzampa.

“In the last four months, the centre catered to 4,830 clients, generating a revenue of Nu 7.49 million.”

The electronic registration and licensing system (eRaLIS) was introduced to take services online. “Except for two RSTA services, new vehicle registration and roadworthiness certification, all other services can now be availed online,” the report stated.

The Road Safety and Transport Regulations 2021 have been revised to ensure a safe, reliable, efficient, inclusive, and environmentally friendly service, the report stated. “The revised regulations will come into effect from January 1, 2022.”

The government is currently in the process of drafting the Surface Transport Policy.

The report stated that the transformation of the Paro International Airport terminal building and its surroundings was completed on October 10 of this year.

Moreover, the turnaround time for departing and arriving passengers was reduced from 40 minutes to 35 minutes, and from 45 minutes to 35 minutes, respectively.