Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing 

More than 30 business firms in Phuentsholing are worried their struggling businesses would worsen with parking lots near them closed. 

In more than two weeks since the parking lots on Gatoen Lam closed, shopkeepers said customers dwindled. 

Gatoen Lam parking lot temporarily closed for the trucks carrying boulders and other vehicles exiting via the main gate to Jaigaon.  

A shopkeeper, Yangki said that their businesses, which were already affected by the pandemic, were further hit.     

“Without parking, we face the difficulty in loading and unloading,” she said. “Only trucks are allowed to ply on the road.”

Businessmen also complained about dust, noise, and accidents.  

Some shopkeepers said their business slowed when trucks started to ply on Gatoen Lam through the town, some two months ago.

A hotelier, Pema said that the road was public property and must be utilised properly, and optimally. 

“Right now, using our parking spaces have been stopped because the trucks need to use the road,” he said. “Our business is already hit and without the parking spaces, it has become harder.”

Meanwhile, the shopkeepers, about 34 of them, have appealed to the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The parties met on November 30. 

BCCI’s secretary general of Phuentsholing region, Sangay Dorji said two options have been identified.

The first option is to divert the trucks from the second gate, which is from Bau Bazaar. 

“The second option is to start a timing system and allow boulder trucks to enter the town via Gatoen Lam only after 7pm or 8pm, when the town closes,” Sangay Dorji said. 

Sangay Dorji said that this matter would be solved by the Private Sector Working Committee in Phuentsholing and there was no need for it to be taken to the task force.