Dangerous Expressway

For any discerning user of the Expressway these days in Thimphu one is usually greeted by the sight of school children practicing marathon along the road.

What is more dangerous is that most of the practice happens in the evenings when the lighting is not good and it is not easy to spot students running on the expressway. We can also see children crossing the Expressway without warning and to the obvious shock of drivers.

In any other country the traffic police would stop people running on the expressway in large numbers due to the obvious dangers but here in Bhutan it has become the norm.

The schools and principals responsible for allowing children to undertake such life threatening marathon exercise should be brought to task and held accountable especially if any child is killed or injured which is highly likely.

In addition to school children the expressway is already unsafe with numerous illegal crossings where people, small children and even animals nonchalantly cross the streets even in the middle of thick traffic.

This is obviously a dangerous practice as borne out by the growing cases of pedestrians being killed and injured on the expressway.

Here, I feel the Thimphu thromde and the government is to blame for allowing these illegal crossings and not taking any measures to provide either foot over bridges or underground passages to cross the street.

The other problem of the expressway is also the large number of taxis and other vehicles that are illegally parked on the road with no bother and care in the world as to who is driving behind them.

While it is good that the traffic police are catching and fining speeding motorists on the expressway all the authorities concerned should also ensure that the road is safe to drive on.

At the current rate our famed expressway will soon resemble the main road in Jaigaon which is packed with vehicles, people and animals.

I propose we change the name from expressway to that of a normal highway to reflect the reality on the ground.

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13 comments

  1. I stopped my son and his friends going three for marathan practice since three years back. I hope they are not going these days because school annual marathans are happening on Saturdays of late. Must check them immediately!

  2. Glorified Clerk

    Expressway is a joke now. It is like any other street road with so many in and out diversions/access and crossings.

  3. where are the traffic lights

  4. I am a regular customer of your paper. I am sorry if your news paper has brought the same topic in the earlier editions otherwise I wonder from where these “thebhutanese” journalist including the CEO himself were trained. To a layman like me media houses also has roles responsibilities to shoulder. This includes creating awareness to the general public regarding the pressing situations, preventative measures or any other awareness education such as in the above article. But instead the news paper is filled with only criticism that stairs hatred in the communities. TB has even started pronouncing verdict and punishing the individuals, agencies, organizations, ministries and so on(Principal and school in case of the article above).  These doesn’t mean you should protect the individuals, agencies, corporations, ministries or no matter any other private organization that are involved in corrupt practices. Knowing both side of the same coin in every aspect is equally important for the public from the responsible media.
    I believe TB as one of the news paper of our country has a greater roles and responsibilities to play rising beyond the wasted interest. That is to me ‘the code of conduct and ethic for journalist in the journalism’. 

    • You may be expecting bhutanese courtesy here( which intimidates progress). For many of us the fact of the matter is important and i guess the author has delivered it. Being unique, as you imply makes this paper attractive for us.

  5. Yes, this paper is vindictive too! They do not have code of conduct and ethic(moral principle). If they report fairly and justly, this paper has good future.

  6. The issue raised is great but the presentation needs a lot of work. How about pictures of the divider that are dangerously dangling and left on the sides. How about pictures of the streetlight that are always off in the evening. Starting from the zero point roundabout of the expressway (near Termalinca entrance), the street lights are always off for almost 1.5km-nice intro to Thimphu-a dark welcome? The TCC should manage what it has on it’s plate rather than trying to get creative and taking on project that we will only be left without any maintenance-case in point-the street lights, man holes in Changjiji. Need I say more?  TB is not vindictive, maybe the CEO is just human at times to show how fed up he is like you and me. Maybe a lot of people are driving only big flashy cars with Chauffeur to notice the real expressway. If the leaders don’t put thinmgs this right, anarchy will be inevitable-one of the beauty of democracy.

  7. This happens because there is no foot path. If there are good foot path from Dechencholing to Babesa(which is considered as town by government(i.e. thimphu thromde)) this school children will not dun on the highway.
    The government should consider coming up with good foot path in so called town area(i.e. from Dechencholing to Babesa) rather than building would be flop project like IT perk and education city. this will also reduce people with life style diseases  and reduce cost on our health system

  8. psuedo engineer

    During the time of the the Thimphu Structural Plan discussions there was a great idea for a Pedestrian walkway along the Thimphu Chhu from Dechenchholing to Babesa. Where is it now?

    Imagine that! A pedestrian zone safe from dangerous Bhutanese drivers, where people can walk for leisure health or commuting. Runners can jog or practice for marathons along the river while enjoying the river side. Such green spaces should be public space and our riversides protected for such uses Instead what is happening but concrete structures coming up..

    Wold health day was celebrated last week highlighting how fat and lazy Urban Bhutanese are becoming. with non communicable diseases becoming major cause of death and costs for our health system, we need more investments in promoting such alternatives for commuting, leisure and physical exercise. (The Ace Staff reporter of the Bhutanese could also do with some of the exercise instead of only criticising initiatives like pedestrian day 🙂

    Hey urban planners, implementers and the big decision makers, What happened??? Where are our sidewalks and greenspaces? Thimphu is choking.

  9. I like thebhutanese for most of the reportings EXCEPT its dislike of the Pedestrain day and how relentlessly it attacked the government on the PD policy. TheBhutanese has contributed to some extent in doing away with tuesdays pedestrian day to just one, that is also on sunday. Sad to see how a government bowed down to the pressures of the rich who cares only about money; although shifting the PD on sunday meant lot of hardships to farmers, they knew the later ones had no voice. 

  10. Yes Mr. NIDU the pressure was from influential business group who are sucking the resources of the Kingdom. Very soon, we may have to import stones, dolomite, gypsum etc. from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, China and other neighbouring countries. The PD was well thrashed out policy-because millions of INR could be saved in a month.

  11. Expressway by definition is a freeway designed for fast traffic with controlled entrance and exit points. We cannot and should not label this few kms zigzag road where the maximum speed limit is set at 50 km as expressway. Please do away with the name EXPRESSWAY. It is a joke.

    Investment in building a footpath (for running, jogging, walking) and cycling trail along the Wang chu from Babesa to Began would be a timely blessing for the growing population in Thimphu.

    • I agree with you. The Express way is fake.

      Thimphu has no room for pedestrians and cyclists. Everyone is expected to drive a car (be rich).

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