Traffic: Traffic jams and a parking space crunch in Trashigang town may soon be history with decongestion works in full swing.

Bumper to bumper traffic jams occur daily despite the efforts of traffic police personnel.

A two-day survey conducted by the Trashigang municipality found that over 1,063 vehicles moved within, and in and out of the town during the period.

On Sunday, around 253 vehicles entered the town while 248 exited. On Monday, 279 entered and 283 exited. The town covers an area of around three and a half football pitches on which there are around 53 houses; mostly traditional stone masonry ones and a handful of buildings.

The town serves as a business hub for locals who cannot travel to Samdrupjongkhar and Phuentsholing. It also meets the commercial needs of the people from Mongar and some parts of Trashi Yangtse.

Trashigang dzongdag, Cheki Gyeltshen, said that traffic congestion is a huge problem daily.

A 200m stretch of road between the police station and town is not wide enough to allow trucks to pass each other. “Accidents and arguments broke out among the drivers and that’s why widening of the road was taken up,” the dzongdag said.

The stretch is currently being widened as it was left out during widening of the Trashigang-Samdrupjongkhar highway.

To ease traffic movement within the town, a bypass is being constructed near the old Bhutan Telecom office. The bypass, which resembles a flyover bridge will have a parking space for 50-60 vehicles underneath it.

Other measures include the construction of a roundabout between the Kota Shopping Centre and liquor shop. A one-way rule will also be introduced.

An official from Trashigang municipality said that the bypass would also have parking spaces on both sides. The official said that since the existing taxi parking space limits parking for private vehicles, a new taxi parking area will be constructed below the Road Safety and Transport Authority office.

Dzongdag Cheki Gyeltshen however said that the bypass will require an additional Nu 12 million (M) since its budget outlay was only Nu 6M. It is hoped that the government will provide the additional budget.

Work is also ongoing to reduce the flood risk of the Mithidrang stream, which runs through the town.

The municipal official said that the plan is to secure the banks of the stream with reinforced concrete walls until the old bazam. The first phase of the flood protection wall, located opposite to the farmer’s market has been completed and the second phase will be completed in another week, dzongkhag engineer Lekjay said. Work on the third phase has also begun.

The municipal official said that only 238m on either side of the stream will be cemented in the current Plan. Remaining work will be proposed for in the 12th Plan.

The municipality is also planning to build two children’s parks, one opposite to the farmers’ market and another near the archery range.

Tempa Wangdi | Trashigang