… new Mongar-Pemagatshel route opens 

Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

Local bus service from Lhuentse to Mongar resumed on September 14 almost five months after the previous bus operator stopped the service in April this year.

The news came as a great relief for those in Lhuentse who come to Mongar mainly for treatment at the eastern regional referral hospital and other works including shopping. 

A heart patient from Lhuentse, who visits the regional referral hospital monthly for check-ups, said the past few months without bus service have been difficult because he had to pay exorbitant high charges. “A taxi charges Nu 600 to reach Mongar from Lhuentse but the bus charges only Nu 150.”

The service also benefits those from villages along the highway in Chali and Tsakaling gewogs of Mongar.

Road safety and transport authority (RSTA) officials said that the approval for the new bus was given immediately after the old bus was withdrawn due to a mechanical problem in April. However, the pandemic delayed the arrival of the new bus. 

RSTA’s base in-charge in Lhuentse Damchu Dorji said that the bus would make a round trip everyday on the 75-km national secondary highway throughout the week.

Meanwhile, a new coaster bus service from Pemagatshel to Mongar has started on September 4. RSTA approved it as a temporary route to one of the operators who was operating along the border and whose business suffered due to the pandemic. 

The bus operates six days a week from Tuesday to Sunday.

RSTA officials said the service would continue permanently if it is sustainable.

Edited by Tshering Palden