Thimphu thromde tshogde will decide on the closure of Norzin Lam

Thromde: Thimphu thromde’s decision to close Norzin lam for vehicular traffic on the first Sunday of every month starting June this year has been deferred till the next city council meeting in June.

The decision came after the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) officials met with the thromde on May 24.

Norzin Lam tshogpas, business proprietors and residents representing the business and house owners along the Norzin Lam also attended the meeting.

The Thimphu thromde tshogde will decide whether to permanently close the street, partially close it or not close it at all.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that with the issues brought up at the meeting, deciding on the immediate closure of Norzin Lam is a challenge.

The thromde will look into the issues the officials and proprietors have highlighted. Among many issues raised, lack of vehicle accessibility to the houses and the effect on businesses located along Norzin Lam are some of the issues.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that traffic congestion is the main concern and a reason to close Norzin Lam. Business and house owners attending the meeting suggested overhead bridges to ease traffic congestion.

However, the thrompon said that acquiring budget to construct the overhead bridges is a problem.

He added that the house and business owners proposed that not only Norzin Lam but all streets in the city be closed to vehicular traffic if the thromde is adamant on closing Norzin Lam on the first Sunday of every month. Representatives said that businesses will also close.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that if this happens, Thimphu city will be paralysed and it will be difficult for the people to move around the city.

Instead, the thrompon suggested that the street be closed on the first Sunday every month and have some activities take place on the street. The thromde will improve public transport and allow buses to ply on Norzin Lam.

The thrompon asked businesses to come up with proposals like the setting up of stalls for food, and stock clearances, among others, along the street. “We want to make one Sunday in a month lively,” he said.

The Norzin Lam tshogpas can also come up with proposals to make the street lively during occasions like the tshechu.

However, Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that only licensed business owners operating along Norzin Lam would be allowed to have stalls and sell their goods on the street.

The intention to close Norzin Lam is not to make businesses along the street suffer  but to make the street, being the city’s centre, a hub for everyone to come and enjoy shopping, the thrompon said.

Proprietors of businesses and residents located along Norzin Lam appealed to the BCCI on May 14, to not permanently close the street to vehicular traffic.

Dechen Tshomo