It has become a familiar sight in Phuentsholing.
On some days, especially early in the week, hundreds of tourists and foreign workers crowd the immigration office.
Both tourists and local travel agents have complained about the situation.
One of the complaints is that the immigration office does not follow a queue or token system, resulting in unruly crowds, where pushing and shoving through a sea of people is required to get to a counter. On top of that there are not enough counters from which to avail services.
Another complaint is that there are no chairs for the public despite the procedure sometimes taking hours to complete.
Apparently, there is also no access to public toilets as well.
To be fair, the situation is a result of an ongoing construction activity occurring at the immigration office. The lack of counters is also being attributed to several immigration officers being terminated for being involved in corruption.
But this is no excuse.
Such service delivery is not only limited to the immigration office in Phuentsholing.
There are other offices where the situation is equally sad.
Granted, improvements are occurring especially in the corporate sector. Some notable examples include some of the banks, where the queue and token system is strictly followed and accessibility to toilets are provided. Service delivery has improved in this sector because there is a realisation that it is the customer that brings in their revenue, and that there are choices for the customer today.
Similarly, there is a need for us to realise that tourists bring in revenue and that there are choices for tourists, to go to another country, or to return. It is also a part of Bhutanese culture to treat our guests with respect. We should also ensure better services to an expatriate force that comes to build our homes and other infrastructure.
On those grounds, there is a need to provide an acceptable level of service on a daily basis, no matter what challenges are being faced.
Toilets can be unlocked, or advice sought from the Bhutan Toilet Organisation on solutions, plastic seats or temporary benches can be installed simply using planks, and a token system adopted from the banks.
The solutions are available.
The question is whether the willingness to adapt and improve is available.