…a concern for the commuters

Phub Dem | Haa

It has been a year since there has not been a bus service between Haa and Paro.

The discontinuation of public transport service has affected the regular commuters, especially those who do not own private car and reside along the Haa-Chuzom highway.

Locals have raised the issue to local leaders.

Sonam Lham from Shari in Samar gewog said that travelling to Paro became arduous and expensive without a public bus. “Travelling in cabs is expensive, and it is difficult to get cabs.”

According to Samar Gup Tshewang Tobgay, the gewog received many complaints from the people, and he even consulted the bus service provider.

He said that poor road condition due to the widening activities and about 70 percent of the population travelling via private vehicle pulled out the bus service provider.

Although there was a bus service earlier, he said that only limited people were availing the service which affected the business. “We have to understand their survival scale.”

It was found that the bus proprietor couldn’t cover the expenditure from the commuters and the poor road condition caused damage to the vehicle.

Tshewang Tobgay said that even taxis stopped travelling via Chuzom to Haa highway considering the bad road condition.

He added that the road condition becomes worse in summer.

Some regular commuters said that they had to wait at a roadblock for hours without specific timing. With taxis mostly travelling via Chelela, those living beyond the junction must pay an extra local fare.

Bji Gup Passang raised the issue in the recent Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT).

He said that the discontinuation of the service had a significant impact on the low-income travellers. “Cabs are expensive.”

An official from Road Safety and Transport Authority said that the bus operator submitted a letter to the office to discontinue the service due to loss. “We welcome other people who want to provide the service.”

DT chairperson, Thinley, said that the regional RSTA office should look after the public grievances. “The office should inform the public when the operator withdraws the services.”

Uesu Mangmi Ugyen Chungwa said that even Haa to Thimphu bus services was not reliable and that the RSTA should monitor the situation.

DT passed a resolution to advertise for a bus service provider at the earliest.