Thimphu Thromde collects Nu 1 M in fines from building owners converting parking area into residential and commercial space


Every year, more and more buildings are being built in the capital. Along with it comes an ever-growing number of vehicles. This has resulted in a lack of parking space especially residential parking for tenants. The issue has been on the rise despite the Thimphu Thromde implementing rules and penalising building owners for not having adequate parking space. The Thromde office has collected about Nu 1 M in fines from building owners in 2022 alone.

The thromde rule has it that a parking space has to be provided for every unit of the building. But seems like this rule is only on the papers going by the situation on the ground.

With no designated parking space, tenants have no choice but to park on the roads which pose risks of vehicle vandalism and damage. Some have even been fined by the traffic division police for parking along the roadside.

“We do have parking spaces but we have thirty-two tenants and each tenant owns a vehicle. Being a mother, I often face medical emergencies because of my children but then my vehicle would be in front of another vehicle and getting it out would take about an hour. If Thimphu Thromde could include a bigger parking space while approving the building design, it would really benefit us,” said a tenant who didn’t want to be named.

As per records with the erstwhile Road Safety and Transport Authority, Thimphu alone has close to 70 thousand vehicles.

The Road Safety and Transport Regulation 2021 prohibits parking vehicles on the footpath, pedestrian crossings, along expressways or multiple-lane roads, on bridges, blind curves or in between another vehicle or the centre of the road. Violators could be fined Nu 600.

“Before Thromde would only approve the building design if the drawing shows sufficient parking space but now they don’t even investigate whether residential parking is included. This, later on, affects the tenants a lot,” said another tenant.

Meanwhile, a building owner who has residential parking says that some were instructed to build a parking space while some were not. He felt that these actions or lack thereof were unfair and with no justifiable reasons provided by Thromde.

On the other hand, the Thromde says they have started penalising those who had converted parking space into residential or commercial space without approval but still there are some violators clearly visible today.

Thimphu Thromde’s Chief engineer Tashi Phuntsho said the office does not approve the drawings unless it shows adequate parking space. The building owners are required to show that they have adequate parking while obtaining an occupancy certificate.

Currently, landowners pay annual fines in huge amounts for converting parking spaces into residential or commercial spaces.

Tshering Deki

Edited by Phub Gyem

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