Choki Wangmo   | Tsirang

With the implementation of the 30-minute parking system for vehicles in Damphu town,  residents and commuters say that it has become easier and systematic.

A grocery shop owner in Damphu town, Zangmo, said that in the past, she had to load and unload her goods away from the shop since there was no space in front of her shop. “Now it is convenient. I have at least 30 minutes to complete the work.”

Nar Maya Monger, whose shop is located in the middle of the town, said that the new parking system was convenient for everyone. “Otherwise, it was difficult for us to do business. We lost customers as people bought goods from shops that had parking space.”

In the past, customers had to park their vehicles away from the town and carry heavy loads, particularly groceries and hardware materials.

Tsirang Police Superintendent (SP), Lieutenant Colonel Gyem Tshering, said that in recent years, the population in the town is increasing with an increasing number of vehicles that are creating traffic congestion and inconvenience to people.

The SP said that the division discontinued double parking and proposed a temporary parking fee system to the Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT) but was deferred.  “Shop owners and land owners parked their cars in front of the buildings and people availing goods and services did not have space to park. The business owners were losing customers.”

For example, a shop that has five cars parked in front of their building in the town took up unnecessary parking space.

The parking lights have to be kept on for 30 minutes after which traffic police ensure that they move out. This has also helped people leave at the given time, the SP said. “When the parking light is put on for a longer period of time, the car’s battery dies. People don’t park for long.”

However, Lieutenant Colonel Gyem Tshering said that they give flexibility of 10-15 minutes after the given time is over. “For people visiting restaurants, it won’t be enough.”

The 30-minute parking system is implemented from 9am to 6pm during which residents and business owners are allotted separate parking spaces within the town.

Tsirang Dzongdag Pema said that Damphu town was small and with cars congesting the parking areas, customers did not get proper space to stop and shop around. “Travellers drove through the town looking for parking space. It affected the business in the town.”

Endorsed by the DT, the new parking system was jointly implemented by the Tsirang Police and Road Safety and Transport Authority since the end of last month.

Edited by Tshering Palden