Construction sector gets in line against Pedestrian Day

The government’s Pedestrian Day came under the public scanner since it was born but authorities tucked it into everybody’s life just the same.

This time around the construction industry people have raised their voices on the day. They say works are bogged-down to almost a standstill on Pedestrian day, observed every Tuesday of the week.

Construction works have all become disorganized and delayed said most of them, as they have to leave their trucks and machines idle though charges are all paid up inclusive of Tuesdays.

It proved highly inconvenient when the vehicle movement is restricted and procurement of construction materials is a need of the hour every hour.

The Construction Association Board (CAB) president Ugyen Tshechup  said the construction sector has to execute time bound works and they undergo lot of pressure to complete them.

“Losing one Tuesday in a week is not an issue but to lose 52 Tuesdays in a year is like losing around two months,” he said.

He said there are many factors which delay work like road blocks, unfavorable climate.  Add to that 52 days without any vehicle movement is not easy for contractors to work.

He said government should also consider the pedestrian day during tendering process and give extra days from the very beginning.

“For the tourism sector special buses are allowed to move around but why can’t government give due consideration to construction sector which also contributes to develop the country,” he said.

CAB Secretary Cheku Dukpa said “cannot comment on Government’s decision but there is a direct influence on business sectors in particular”.

Bhutan Engineering’s Leki Dorji Norbu said “everything is pre-planned but with the uncertain situation it’s hard to get along with what they have planned”.

“Sunday would be the best day to observe pedestrian day as it is inconvenient for parents, students, workers to work on weekdays,” he said.

Neten Construction’s proprietor Neten Wangdi said they have to pay loan every month and when works are delayed they have to bear unnecessary penalties.

Apart from the high charges to hire taxis, he said that shops and some offices are closed on that day which further hinders procurement of materials and paper works that needs to be completed in a hurry.

He suggested having one Tuesday in a year as pedestrian day where all the factories, construction works and industries remained closed and only emergency services vehicles are allowed movement.

Construction owners say it takes great efforts to to ensure that materials are delivered on Mondays or after Tuesdays.

“One of the fundamental principles of democracy is freedom and I truly believe pedestrian day strongly resisted by the public has infringed on these very provisions,” said a construction owner.

A real estate agency owner said “Taxis and public transport vehicles cover about 600 kms more than usual on Pedestrian Day which contributes to air pollution”.

He said it is more sensible to introduce subsidized bus services for schools since more number of cars drive to drop children every day.

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9 comments

  1. THIS IS A NAIL TO THE COFFIN. called 2013

  2. While civil service boasts of having many intelligent people (not necessarily educated) it also have many bureaucrats who are just occupying space in various offices. The heads of the various agencies of the civil service must be on their toes especially with a democratic government managing on top. I believe the recommendation of Pedestrian day was generated from the NEC and I strongly believe they did not do a proper and practical feasibility study; they should have debated on its impacts especially when it was meant for the whole country, they should have looked into every minor detail which often plays a major role during implementation, they should have thought about children, mothers, public transports and safety, etc. 

    And if those studies were not done or were on course, and if they really needed to introduce it, they should have recommended the government to start with ‘One Tuesday a month’ on a trial basis and should have asked for feedback. Because feedback after experience is worth more than the one in theory.  
    Politicians maybe voted out but how do we increase the efficiency of the spine of the government? 

  3. guys! If we try to please everybody, we land up pleasing no body. If the P-day is shifted to Sunday, then civil servants and corporate employees will be affected as Sunday is the only rest day they enjoy to do shopping meet relatives and friends etc. If I remember well, on Tuesdays all the business houses used to be closed so that the employees engaged in the private businesses get a day’s break in a week. It has also been declared as DRY day as most of the hotels remained closed. When was this system discontinued?

  4. Pedestrian Day is a Stupid Day! I see no point with this move. there are plenty of vehicles parked by ring road….

  5. well, i am a civil sevant, i did a detail calculation on the p-day and govt. drivers, say there are around 1000 offices with an average of 3 drivers each in thimphu only (excluding other dzongkhags), so if we calculate we are losing in millions as most of the drivers in Thimphu never turn up and i believe its a big loss to the Government because of the stupid P_DAY …so guys have a look from different angles as well.

  6. There are 67,000 vehicles in Bhutan as of now. So in one Tuesday approximately 50,000 vehicles remain off road due to pedestrian day from 8 in the morning to 6 in the evening. Suppose each vehicle consume 2 liters of petrol every day. Because of P-dayy we save 100,000 liters of petrol every Tuesday( 50,000 vehicles*2 liters of petrol per car). So in 52 Tuesdays we save 100,000 liters*52=5,200,000 liters of petrol. In terms of Rupee we spend 5,200,000*Rs. 61.00=317,200,000/- . The impact of 52 Tuesdays has317,200,000 Rupee savings for the Govt. which will ultimately benefit the people of Bhutan. So why make lot of hue and cry on the P-day right from the President of CAB. In fact this will boost the construction industries in the long run.

  7. Kudos to the present government for having initiated and implemented Pedestrian day.It did helped and benefitted the nation as a whole.Let pedestrian day prevail on Bhutan.

  8. Kudos to the present government for having initiated and implemented Pedestrian day.It did helped and benefited the nation as a whole.Let pedestrian day prevail on Bhutan.

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