Neten Dorji |  Trashigang

Taxi drivers in Trashigang are unhappy with private vehicles carrying passengers and doing local transportation business.

Taxi drivers claim that the taxi business has decreased drastically compared to past years.

A taxi driver, Kinzang Tobgay, who has been driving a taxi since 1996, said that compared to other dzongkhag, private vehicles operating as taxis is high in the dzongkhag. “This practice is still rising. We are losing our jobs.”

He said that a majority of the local taxi drivers depended on the income they generate by driving a taxi. With the rising number of private vehicles in the locality, he said that the private vehicles are eating into their pockets.

Another taxi driver, Tshewang Tashi, said the taxi business had gone down. It’s a good day today if one can earn Nu 300 a day.

He said the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) and traffic police must intervene.

A taxi driver said that most private vehicles coming from Udzorong, Drametse, Gongthung, and Rangjung operated like a taxi.

A taxi driver from Trashiyangtse said that in the absence of traffic officials, the private vehicles were carrying passengers beyond capacity.

“They also charge the same rate as taxis do, ” he said.

An official from the RSTA office in Trashigang said: “If we find any private vehicles operating as commercial vehicles, authority imposes a fine of Nu 1,750.”

RSTA has only two officials to monitor such cases in Trashigang.