A Bailey bridge, constructed this week over Jomori at Jompa in Lauri gewog, Samdrupjongkhar, will benefit the people of five chiwogs and Lauri primary school.

The Bailey bridge was constructed during the five-day training on the launching of Bailey bridge for disaster preparation under eastern region for engineers, armed forces and desuups by the Department of Road (DoR) in Samdrupjongkhar. There were 80 trainees.

The training concluded yesterday.

DoRs’ chief engineer for bridge division, Karma Wangdi, said the training was conducted since Bailey bridge is mainly adopted during disasters because it can be built under the supervision of one engineer. “But the technicians and others should be well aware of the parts.”

He said they have two Bailey bridges kept ready in each regional DoR office for emergency support during disasters. There are nine regional offices in the country.

The chief engineer said that although there are many places that need bridges they organised the training at Jomori because that is where people face more problems and the river is also big compared to others. “We also want our trainees to be well trained.”

The trainees were divided into two; engineer and non-engineer.

Karma Wangdi said that while the engineers were trained on basic technical and calculation on over turning and restoring movement, the non-engineers were trained on identification and names of the parts, assembling and fitting procedures among others.

He said that the bridge is used as a semi-permanent bridge in the country but it can last more than 30 years.

He, however, said that they will not allow the movement of vehicles even after completing the bridge, as they need to build supporting walls. “But we will allow during emergencies.”

The government funded the Nu 11 million (M) budget for the launching of the 140-foot and 24-metric tonnes capacity Bailey bridge.

A desuup, Dechen Lhundrup, who is the deputy chief education officer in Mongar, said he didn’t get an opportunity to attend such trainings before. “We have to take part in emergency cases during disasters and the training will be helpful.”

He said he has learnt to assemble and fit the bridge parts, the names of the parts and balancing the bridge. “I will share my knowledge and impart the skills to my desuup friends.”

Meanwhile, the parents of Lauri primary school students, who have to carry rations from Jomori will not have to do the chore anymore.

A parent, Needrup Tshering, 60, from Phajo Goenpa said there was a cantilever bridge over the Jomori before but it got washed away frequently. “The river swells every monsoon and the Bailey bridge will help us.”

Another parent, Dorji Wangchuk, said the launching of the Bailey bridge over Jomori will shorten the road by five minutes.

He said that the launching of the bridge will help them market cardamom and potato.

Kelzang Wangchuk | Lauri