Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Many parents at Toorsa Temporary Settlement (TTS) say their children are not safe. It is, indeed, not a safe place, with increasing crowd and vehicle movement.

After a car hit a child on October 14, the parents have become more worried.

The risk lies mainly between Blocks A and H of the settlement.

The entire surrounding is fenced with metal sheets with three main entrances. After the October 14 incident, two entrances were blocked.

But there are countless intersecting alleys where children come out in the open. The vehicles run wild.

One of the residents, Choki Wangmo and her baby girl escaped an accident narrowly recently.

“A car nearly hit my two-year-old girl,” she said. “Here around, children want to play in the open but it is becoming difficult to control them.”

Choki Wangmo also said that vehicles could be seen speeding in and around the settlement.

Residents said the risk of an accident increased in the evening when many vehicles moved around.

Damcho Pem, 33, said that even the adults were at risk.

On the flip side, if the vehicles are not allowed inside the premises, those residing far from the entry gates have to walk more. Vehicles are also needed during emergencies.

Due to the risks, residents in numerous points have placed stones and blocked entrances into their alleys.

“But some drive through the stones,” another resident said. “When we ask them not to, they get offended and behave rudely.”

The issue was discussed at a meeting with officials from drungkhag and thromde recently.

Residents said that there should be only one point of entry to limit the number of vehicles entering and movement within alleys not allowed.

Another resident, Tendrel Zangmo, said that people were already barred entry from one. “We just want one entry point.”

After the October 14 incident, the entry of vehicles in all the alleys has been blocked. However, there are no proper monitoring arrangements yet.