The construction of a multi-car park in Phuentsholing has missed the December deadline.

The parking project was initiated to address growing traffic congestion and space crunch in the town.

Thromde officials said the car park would be completed in another a few months’ time.

A budget of Nu 64 million (M) is injected to construct the structure. Under the Small Development Project, the Government of India pumped in about Nu 50 million (M) for the project. Phuentsholing Thromde put in about Nu 14M.

Thrompon Uttar Kumar Rai said several issues led to construction delay.

“We cannot blame the contractor,” he said, explaining the situation was difficult for the firm since the beginning. “First, the design had to be changed.”

It was the location of the construction area, which made it difficult for the contracting firm, Ms Noryang Private Limited, to transport the materials. Underground electric cables worsened the situation, thrompon said, adding that the contractor had to be “extra-cautious” to not disintegrate electric cables that connected power supply in the city.

Cement shortage across the country in 2017 also hampered the construction, Thrompon Uttar Kumar Rai said. The contractor also complained about labourers absconding after they were paid.

Considering traffic congestion in winter, Ms Noryang Private Limited had also worked during the night.

The construction is in full swing today, the Thrompon said.

Once completed, the park will have space for 200 cars.

However, the parking spaces will accommodate only light vehicles. There are about 150 spaces for heavy vehicles in Phuentsholing at the truck parking area.


Traffic congestion

Despite several mega projects and an incomplete parking house, Phuentsholing did not see traffic congestion as it did in the past.

Diversion of workshops, seminars, and conferences to other places across the country this winter reduced the inflow of vehicles in the town. It helped Phuentsholing thromde ease congestion, thromde officials said.

Phuentsholing is the primary location for many institutions to conduct their annual conferences. In 2015 and 2016, Phuentsholing town was flooded with vehicles from other places, which overtly crowded the traffic.

In October 2017, thromde appealed to the government to divert such events to other parts of the country.

Uttar Kumar Rai said traffic congestion has decreased drastically.

“Although minor problems were there, we didn’t feel the congestion burden this winter,” he said.

Thrompon also said that diverting government workshops and conferences to other places also distributed economic advantages.

A Phuentsholing resident, Norbu Gyeltshen, said people had expected huge traffic congestion this winter. “But it is good that it didn’t happen,” he said.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing