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Traffic moves, except for Jomtshangkha

Busses from Phuentsholing, Nganglam and Samdrupjongkhar arrived at the Gelephu bus terminal last evening, almost a week after the Assam strike stranded some 70 passengers and two public transport buses from Gelephu to Samdrupjongkhar and Phuntsholing.

The buses were allowed to ply on a no-escort day, after passengers travelling from Samdrupjongkhar, mostly Sherubtse college students, lodged a written complaint to the concerned authority. “But there’s nothing happening on the way,” Nganglam bus’s handy boy, Dawa Norbu, said.

Transport officials also opened the traffic from Gelephu around 2pm yesterday, on request from the stranded drivers, but buses did not ply.

Gelephu police said the roads in the border town will open for traffic today.  However, vehicles plying to Jomtshangkha would not be permitted, following an announcement of another 120-hour strike along that route.

Passengers stranded in Gelephu had booked their tickets almost a week ago and were eagerly waiting for the road to open. “No one gives any information on when the buses would move,” one of the passengers, who has booked his ticket for Samdrupjongkhar three days ago, Tshewang, said.

Tshewang, who had travelled to Gelephu after visiting his relatives in Tsirang, said he came to the terminal every morning from Lodarai, which is five kilometres away, hoping for some information, but ended up waiting the entire day.  It had also worried the bus drivers, who had to pay the hiring charges, as well as orange exporters, who were unable to transport their consignment on time.

By Tshering Namgyal, Gelephu


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