Parking: Lack of parking space for heavy vehicles has forced truckers in Trashigang to park along the roadsides. Smaller private vehicles mostly occupy the town’s available parking spaces.

Heavy vehicles are restricted to enter most quarters of the town’s area.

“Where do we park when we are not allowed to use the existing parking lots,” said Ugyen Wangdi, a trucker. “At times, when we have to halt for the night, we park our trucks away from the town and walk for lodge and dinner.”

Truckers use roadsides spaces along the Trashigang-Rangjung highway. They also park their trucks along the roadside near the police station.

Another trucker, Chencho Wangdi, said that truckers used to park at the bus terminal area when the space was not used as a bus terminal. Now, they are not allowed to enter the premises.

Truckers say that the municipal authority had a plan to construct a separate parking lot for heavy vehicles near the town but nothing came of it. The proposal was shut down because the site identified was near Ta Dzong.

Dzongkhag Tshogdus said that cultural heritage sites must be protected at all cost. It also meant bringing down an entire hillock.

The proposed one-acre parking space was to be constructed on a hillock just above the zero point, near police station.  The idea was to first use the hillock for quarrying purposes and to gradually remove the boulders so that the site could be turned into a parking lot.

A significant portion of budget for the construction the parking lot was expected to come from the quarry business.

Trashigang Dzongdag Lungten Dorji said in an earlier interview that it would not be sensible to tear down the whole hillock for the sake of a parking lot. Budget constraint is another major factor because constructing a parking lot at the hillock would involve heavy expenditure.

Moreover, the highway widening works have already exposed the slope, which keeps sliding.

However, now that Pam chiwog, about 5km away from the town, has also been integrated into the township, the municipal authority is studying the possibility of constructing a parking space near the area in the future.

“Parking for heavy vehicles has become a major issue here and we must come up with a way forward soon,” said Pema Dechen, a municipal engineer. “The main challenge is finding space.”

Truckers said that parking space far away from the town will serve no good purpose at all.

“The parking space should not be more than 1km from the town if it is to serve the purpose,” said Pema Dorji, a trucker. “We are not asking for a large parking area but only a designated space enough to at least ease our problems.”

With rise in number vehicles in Trashigang, lack of parking space has become a major issue. It is estimated that there are at least 40 trucks, owned by members of the business community of Trashigang.

By Tshering Wangdi, Trashigang