Pedestrians’ Day takes toll on businesses

The company that exports gypsum and the truckers in Samdrup Jongkhar say the Pedestrians’ Day every Tuesday costing them millions. The Druk Satair Corporation Limited which deals with Gypsum calculated the a loss of million a day.

This morning, trucks were lined up in Samdrup Jongkhar town waiting their turns at the weigh bridge. The truckers had come last evening after 6 pm after the Pedestrians Day in the town had ended. They are carrying gypsum from Pemagatshel which they will unload it in Samdrup Jongkhar before it is exported to India.

The Chief Executive Officer of Druk Satair Corporation Limited, Letho, said their major activity is transportation, transporting gypsum from Pemagatshel to Samdrup Jongkhar and then to Rangia and to other parts of India. “Because of the Pedestrians’ day we are unable to transport gypsum especially to Rangia on the stipulated date.”

He said they have to request for rake to transport raw materials to India. Rake is a line of wagons coupled together as unit. “In case we miss the rake, there are high chances of not getting a rake in future,” said Letho.

About 80 trucks carry gypsum from Pemagatshel to Samdrup Jongkhar every day. They already bear the brunt of road blocks and closures due to the ongoing road widening works. Not working four Tuesdays a month would mean another loss.

A truck driver, Rinzin Phuntsho, said if he is short of one truck load from which he earns about Nu. 7000, he would lose Nu.4000 after deducting fuel and other expanses.

The truck drivers said they want to appeal to the concern authorities about the issue. Another truck driver, Tashi Dorji, said it will be good if an alternative is worked out. He suggested that they can load their trucks from the fuel depot. “That way, we will not get into the main town,” he said.

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