Neten Dorji | Kanglung

Lack of parking space for taxi and private vehicles has forced taxi drivers in Kanglung to park along the roadsides.

Private vehicles occupy the town’s available spaces.

Taxi drivers said they were forced to park in unauthorised parking areas.

A taxi driver, Sangay Dorji, said there ought to be designated parking space for taxis.

He said it was not safe for them to park their vehicles along the roadside.

Taxi drivers blame unplanned town structures as the main reason for parking problems. “Vehicles have increased drastically in Kanglung. Parking space problem also increases,” a taxi driver said.

He said concerned authorities have to relook into the plan for parking spaces.

Another said bumper-to-bumper traffic jams occur time and again despite the efforts of traffic police personnel.

“Without parking spaces, highways and footpaths become alternate parking. It isn’t fair for others, especially pedestrians,” a taxi driver said.  “The footpath’s not accessible because vehicles block them.”

Kanglung town serves as a small business hub for locals, who cannot travel to Trashigang.  It also meets the commercial needs of people of institutes, colleges, offices and schools.

A Kanglung resident, Pema, said with villages connected to roads, everyone owns vehicles but the parking space in the town has remained the same. “There are no speed-breakers too.”

Residents say they are affected, as Kanglung is not recognised as a satellite town. “Government doesn’t provide amenities,” a resident said.

Kanglung gup, Kinzang Dorji, also agreed there was a parking space problem.  “It’s the right time to plan for parking space in Kanglung. After five years, people might face more problems than today.”

He said the gewog administration didn’t have any plan to develop parking, but they discussed how they could solve the parking problem.  “All government lands are outside the town area. We need space to accommodate at least 40 vehicles in the town area.”

There are about 300 vehicles owned by the business community, staff of college, schools, offices and institutes in Kanglung gewog.