Heavy vehicle movement after implementation of Phase II and CPMS requirement leads to traffic congestion

During the lockdown and before the implementation of COVID-19 relaxation Phase II, the vehicle movement around the country was not as heavy and as busy as it is now. Now, with the implementation of Phase II, especially with the lifting of quarantine facility system for the domestic travelers, the vehicle movement is quite heavy.

Due to more numbers of domestic travelers registering through Check-Post Management System (CPMS), there are frequent network congestions, leading to traffic congestion (jams) at CPMS checkpoints. The issue then leads to frustration among the commuters that sometime leads to argument between the personnel on duty and commuters.

Since 1 April till 20 April, Rinchending Check Post (CP) in Phuentsholing registered the highest number of domestic travelers with 7, 764 vehicles followed by Nganglam Border CP (BCP) with 1, 922 vehicles.

Samdrupjongkhar BCP has the third highest record with 1, 658 vehicles. Likewise, Gelephu BCP has registered 1, 584 vehicles, Phuentsholing BCP with 1, 381, Samtse BCP with 49 vehicles.

A focal officer from RBP said that with the implementation of CPMS there has always been vehicle movement, though not so heavy, but suddenly with lifting of quarantine facility system for domestic travelers from the southern dzongkhags, there was a rush and that is because so many people were stranded in different places during the lockdown.

He said, “The maximum rush of commuters is between Paro and Thimphu followed by commuters from the south. Otherwise, everything is normal and is manageable for now. However, commuters should understand that we do not keep them waiting at the check post because we want to. People must know and understand the technical error can happen anytime.”

When they can’t register through CPMS due to internet disruption, it is a mandate to get them registered manually at respective check posts, which takes time, he said, adding that no individual will want to stand in the middle of road 24 by 7.

No individual on duty can be blamed for failing to provide timely and fast services due to technical error. Individual on duty is not stopping the commuters but the technical error is, thereby the RBP seek the public’s cooperation on this, he added.

“Commuters shouting will not ease the traffic congestion; it would rather add on to the frustration among themselves, which may even lead to bigger issue. However, if police are unnecessarily stopping them the commuters, then have the rights to get frustrated,” he further said.

The respective OCs and SPs keep monitoring the situation, and should there be any issues then they would re-enforce the duty. Having said that, he said they have numerous challenges, lack of equipment being one major challenge.

Meanwhile, he said, “CPMS was developed way before the pandemic, given various objectives. Of course, with the pandemic, the CPMS system was used for contact tracing purpose, however, its other mandates are for criminal tracking and observation tracking.”

 It is not that the CPMS system will be discontinued once the pandemic is over, he said, adding that the CMPS system will remain, but the number of CPMS check posts is to be reduced, as they are not required. Nevertheless, he said that the matter will be discussed with relevant stakeholders before lifting the system, and thereby, the lifting plan will be executed.

The system was instituted in 11 September 2020 for contact tracing.

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