But some welcome the new development as it has caused more parking slots to become available

Many in Phuentsholing are not happy with the recent increase in parking fees which they say is high and was introduced without notice.

Norzang Builders, after winning the parking business contract raised the parking fee to Nu 15 from Nu 10 for half an hour. For the postpaid parking, the fee has been raised to Nu 4,500 from Nu 1,650.

Speaking to Kuensel, a private employee, Phurba Wangdi expressed his displeasure. Pointing to the empty parking spaces, he said most vehicles owners are now parking elsewhere.

A businessman said he has not renewed his postpaid slot since the increase and has been parking anywhere besides a parking slot.

However, he pointed out that traffic police are disallowing drivers from parking in spaces not designated for the purpose.

However, there are some who aren’t affected by the fee raise.

A shopkeeper in the core area, Sonam Penjore said there are now many more parking slots available.

Norzang Builder’s proprietor, Kipchu said that the rate is same as Thimphu rates. “In places outside the core area, it is Nu 10,” he said. Considering a month’s fees, Kipchu said that people have to bear a total of Nu 10,800 paying Nu 30 per hour. The postpaid fee of Nu 4,500/month is reasonable, he said. “Paying Nu 4,500 per month means just paying Nu 12 per hour.

“It is not necessary to get the postpaid facility,” he said. Kipchu added that the increase in fees has likely discouraged those who park their vehicles for days or months without movement.  Meanwhile, in the Zangtogpelri area, where finding an unoccupied parking slot was once rare, parks spaces are now available in abundance even during peak hours.

Many office employees who come to the area to shop in the evening have welcomed the new development.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing