Infrastructure: The people of Athang gewog have requested Jai Prakash Associates Ltd to not dismantle the bridge near Jarogang village on the Wangdue-Tsirang highway after the completion of the Punatsangchu hydropower projects.

The request comes following concerns that the construction company that built the bridge to connect their guest house and head office, will dismantle the bridge on completion of the projects.

Former local leaders of Athang raised the issue at the recent dzongkhag tshogdu. The issue was listed for discussion in earlier dzongkhag tshogdus but was deferred for several reasons.

Athang gewog officials said that although the bridge was built for private use some years back, the bridge has been benefiting the village of Jarogang and several other far-flung villages. Most of the villages are remote and will be cut off if the bridge is dismantled.

Former local leaders said the bridge has been built using concrete foundations which will allow it to be used for many more years.

Gewog officials said the people are requesting the dzongkhag or government to initiate a discussion with the construction company and find ways to retain the bridge.

Dzongkhag officials said the dzongkhag tshogdu has decided to forward the request to the Prime Minister’s Office, along with another request to also retain the company’s guesthouse. The bridge will not just benefit local people but also save costs of building a new bridge if the existing one is dismantled, officials said. The same reasoning is being applied for the guest house.

Official sources with Jai Prakash Associates said the management will decide on whether to keep the bridge and guesthouse on completion of the project.

They said the 90-metre bridge was built with concrete foundations and metal components which will allow it to be used permanently.

Dawa Gyelmo | Wangdue