It took 52 volunteers from DeSuung, soldiers of Royal Bhutan Army and engineers from Department of Roads (DoR) nine days to launch a 150ft bailey bridge over Kharkhola in Chudzom gewog, Sarpang. 

Chief dzongkhag engineer, Sangay Tenzin, said that while the contractor constructed the abutments on either side of the bridge, volunteers launched the steel parts as part of their on-the-job training. 

He said that training the volunteers was to develop human capacity. “When we need to construct bridges in times of disaster, it becomes difficult without trained people.”

Sangay Tenzin said vehicles would be allowed to ply through the bridge only next month, as they have to complete the remaining works.

Chudzom gup Bishnu Prasad Rai said the bridge would benefit more than 145 households, as the swollen river during monsoon makes it difficult for vehicles to cross the river.

The bridge is about 5kms away from the gewog centre. “The bridge is a blessing for people of at least eight villages here,” he said. 

People of the eight villages depend on cardamom as their source of cash income and launching of a bailey bridge is expected to improve the transportation of the produce.

The gup said that although the farm road was constructed about a year ago, it was not used much because of the lack of a bridge.

He also said the bridge will benefit villages like Ritey and Gongsekha in Jigmechholing gewog and Nabji and Korphu in Trongsa if the government connects the villages with farm road via Chudzom in future. 

“Most people of these villages travel via Chudzom gewog towards Gelephu today,” the gup said.  

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang