Lhakpa Quendren | Gelephu

The inauguration of a new bus terminal yesterday, built at a cost of Nu 35 million, has come as a respite to commuters in Damphu, Tsirang.

A taxi driver in Tsirang, Thubchen Dorji, said that opening of the bus terminal would help ease traffic congestion in the parking lot. “It would reduce the risk of traffic accidents and waste issues in the parking.”

The terminal will soon be handed over to Tsirang’s surface transport department base office.

Tsirang dzongkhag senior planning officer, Karma Wangmo, said the dzongkhag administration will sign a memorandum of understanding with the office. “The full operation of the terminal will start once the base office is shifted to the terminal building by April.”

According to the dzongkhag, the project was initially approved at another location under the Common Minimum Infrastructure with an allocated budget of Nu 10 million.

“However, the construction site had to change to the current location on public request,” Karma Wangmo said, adding that the dzongkhag administration following the public consultation explored additional budget required for the project.

Covering an area of 1.32 acres or over 57,484 square feet, the three-storey terminal building offers space for 12 buses—six buses each in the shed and stand-by.

The building has enough space for facilities like offices, an entrance lobby (waiting room), a booking center, a fire control room, and toilets, among others. Separate restrooms have also been built for the public.

The other facilities available at the new terminal, she said, was the parking lot inside the terminal gate would accommodate about 30 cars while 20 cars, including taxis, could be parked outside for pick and drop purposes.

The construction work of the terminal was completed in 25 months including the time extension.

Karma Wangmo said the other spaces would be rented out for office setups. “The top floor would be furnished as a conference hall. There are currently no conference halls even in the hotels.”

The Indian government funded the terminal project under the small development project.