By the end of this financial year, most gewog centre (GC) roads in Dagana are expected to be blacktopped.

So far, three of the 14 GC roads have already been blacktopped. The blacktopped GC roads include 600 metres of the Tashiding GC road, 21kms of the Tsangkha GC road and three kilometres of the Lhamoizingkha GC road. About three kilometres of the total 12km Karmaling GC road has also been blacktopped.

By the end of May, 14kms of the Dorona GC road and nine kilometres of the Drujeygang GC roads will also be completed. As of now 60 percent of both the roads have been completed.

In Tseza gewog, works such as laying of a base course and constructing drains are ongoing. Blacktopping of the remaining five kilometres GC road is also expected to be completed by the end of May.

Department of Road’s (DoR) executive engineer in Dagana, Pema Choeda said Karna gewog requires only construction of a parking, which will soon be done.

For the 18km GC road of Khebisa and 27km GC road of Largyab, DoR has worked out estimates but work will be tendered out only once budget is confirmed. The contract has been awarded to blacktop 1.5km of the Tsendagang GC road. “The contractor is mobilising machines and materials,” executive engineer Pema Choeda said.

Blacktopping of the Nichula and Karmaling GC roads will require construction of bridges in between. These two roads will have partial blacktopping in the current Plan.

To connect Nichula gewog with Lhamoidzingkha dungkhag with a blacktopped road, the Hordong suspension bridge will need to be replaced with a bailey bridge. Currently, vehicles can ply only until this suspension bridge.

DoR Sarpang division’s executive engineer CB Mongar said that although there is an 11km feeder road after the bridge until the gewog centre, without a bridge at Hordong, the stretch can’t be blacktopped.  A budget of Nu 13.67 million (M) for construction of another bridge at Bararay has been approved and DoR received Nu 4.08M in this financial year. The remaining amount is expected in the next financial year.

The case is similar with the Karmaling GC road. “The 12km GC road requires construction of six bridges,”  CB Mongar said. He added that to construct bridges the current 2.9M budget limit (per kilometre) for blacktopping GC road would not be enough. One bridge alone will cost more than 2.9M.

“Until the budget for constructing the bridges ready, we’ll improve the nine kilometre GC road into a secondary national highway,” he said.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang