SamdrupJongkharthromde authorities had earlier introduced parking fee system in town but withdrawn it because residents were disgruntled over it.
However, plans to re-introduce the parking fee system are in the pipeline.
SamdrupJongkharThrompon Karma SherabTobgyal said that the first time, people were unaware of the system and were unhappy because the authorities rushed to start the system but could not implement it properly.
The Thrompon also said some problems arose between the parking fee collectors and the residents. “Residents didn’t cooperate with us so the thromde had to stop collecting parking fees for some time,” he said.
The Thrompon added that now, they will consult with all the stakeholders concerned and re-introduce the parking fee system.
Residents and shopkeepers, however, expressed that they are still unhappy with such a system.
JigmeNorbu, a resident said, “It is too early to start collecting parking fees when the town does not have a proper parking area and a better road.”
Similarly, a shopkeeper said that SamdrupJongkhar town is a small town and not yet developed. “I think it is not mandatory to start with such systems in a small town where they are not required,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Thrompon said that the idea was aimed at decongesting the parking area and improving the town amenities. “We can use the fees to maintain drains and repair roads. Right now, we lack budget to do anything.”
Additionally, the Thrompon also said that parking fee collection is a way to address the issue of the thromde’s financial sustainability. “Implementing parking fee collection system will definitely contribute to the thromde’s revenue generation,” the Thrompon said.
He said that this time around, authorities would consult with the residents and implement the parking fee system properly. “We have to generate revenue to be a self-sufficient town.”
Jigme Wangchen from SamdrupJongkhar