The bus service between Zhemgang and Thimphu stopped in February last year and is yet to resume.

Zhemgang Road safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) officials said the residents would have to wait for at least three more months. 

RSTA in-charge, Tshering Tobgay said that after the previous bus operator stopped the service and surrendered the route, one bus owner applied to provide the services. 

“His application was approved in March but the operator is given six months to begin operations,” he said. “If the bus operator fails to provide the service within six months, his approval will be cancelled.” 

A 22–seater Eicher bus is expected to ply from Zhemgang to Thimphu via Trongsa on alternate days. 

This issue was also discussed in the recent dzongkhag tshogdu.

The East-West highway widening works affected the previous bus. It suffered damages, had difficulty in travel and reaching the destinations on time. 

He said, “After the bus service was stopped, we tried to find one but no one came to apply for the route. For a place like Zhemgang it is very difficult to get bus service provider.” 

The RSTA official said that with few travellers, sometimes the bus plied without a single passenger. 

One of the civil servants in Zhemgang said that with the no bus service to Thimphu, they take the longer route from Gelephu. “It takes two days to reach Thimphu,” he said.

Zhemgang has a bus service from Zhemgang to Phuentsholing via Gelephu.

RSTA officials also said that after the Zhemgang-Gelephu bus’s roadworthiness validity expired, there was no bus service between Zhemgang and Gelephu for almost two years.

The base in-charge said that although the RSTA announced interested bus owners to start a service, no one has to date submitted an application. The dzongkhag administration has allocated a plot for a bus terminal at Tingtibi.  

Ugyen Dorji | Zhemgang