Office-goers in Gelegphu bearing the brunt of a new system
Karma Wangdi, GelegphuOct 24 2013
Office-goers in Gelegphu, especially, those with offices in the core town area, say, they should be given free parking space. Ever since parking fee was introduced beginning this month, vehicles can be seen parked in an un-designated area.
The parking fee is Nu.5 for every 15 minutes. “If we park in front of our office, we land up paying Nu.30 to 40 a day,” said one of the civil servants, Phub Dorji. He said they land up paying quite a sum in a month and that it affects their income.
Another Civil Servant, Tsheten Dorji, said the offices in Gelegphu should have its own designated parking space just like in Thimphu. “That way, we will be able to some of our hard-earned money.”
Also, some shopkeepers claim their businesses have been affected after the introduction of parking fee. “The sale of my newspapers has dropped,” said a shopkeeper, Deepak. He said he used to get almost 70 copies and was able to sell all of them. These days he said, he manages to sell only half of it.
A Thromde Official, Tika Ram Kafley, say they are following the terms and conditions of the bidding document. “We have clearly specified that the vehicles, be it private or government, has to bear the cost of parking.”
He also said the Thromde have added one condition which clearly states that a prepaid card is to be issued by the winning bidder. “We have given a ceiling of Nu.1000 per month.”
Tika Ram Kafley said the amount can be further negotiated with the proprietor, who won the contract.
On the other hand, the proprietor is worried that he may not be able to pay what he will owe to the Gelegphu Thromde office, if the trend continues.
“An average collection per day is Nu.5000,” said the Proprietor of Khabab Enterprise, Vijay Chhetri. He had quoted Nu.8, 00,000 for two years.
In the meantime, considering the number of vehicles in Gelegphu, the residents feel the move is a bit too early. But the Thromde maintains it is being done to generate some funds for town development.