Tshering Namgyal

The people of Silambi, one of the remotest gewogs in Mongar, are waiting for the blacktopping of the gewog centre (GC) road to be completed.

A long stretch of the 100km GC road remains to be blacktopped. It is one of the longest GC roads in the dzongkhag.  

“We hardly see the contractor at the site. Having the road blacktopped will reduce the transportation cost and ease the travel between the dzongkhag headquarters and the gewog,” one of the residents, Sonam from Nagor, said.

Officials in the gewog said the work had been delayed by months.

The gewog’s gup, Dorji Wangchuk, said the contractor had not finished the work in more than two years.

“There has been no significant progress although the gewog administration has informed the contractor and the dzongkhag administration about the delay.”

The GC road takes its diversion from Menchugang, a few kilometres from Lingmethang towards Yongkola on the Mongar-Bumthang highway.

The Granular Sub-Base (GSB) and the blacktopping work on the 65km road from Menchugang to the gewog centre at Nagor have been divided into five packages and awarded to two contractors.

Works worth over Nu 100 million (M) on the 28km stretch of the road from Thambrang to the gewog centre were awarded to Somson Construction Pvt. Limited in February 2021.  The works were completed on time in June this year.

However, the 37km stretch of the road from the take-off point to Thambrang, which was awarded to Jangchub Builders at Nu 135 million, is yet to be completed. The works were supposed to be completed on August 1, 2021 as per the terms of the contract.

The dzongkhag had initially extended the contract period by nine months to May 2022. The contract was further extended to December 2022.

However, the blacktopping of the 4km road from the Menchugang junction to Tsenzabi village under Saling gewog has been completed.

The site engineer, Pema Leki, said the blacktopping of the road was started recently but that it could not be continued due to machine failures. “The work will be resumed soon.”

He said the GC road could also be used to bypass the Gyalpoizhing-Nganglam highway, which suffers frequent blocks during the monsoon.

The GC road is connected to the Gongdue gewog centre via the Weringla drungkhag administration office, which is connected to the Gyalpozhing-Nganglam highway at Yangbari.

Gup Dorji Wangchuk said the gewog had plans to improve the 9km stretch between Nagor and Werringla with GSB in the second phase of the government’s GSB initiative.

He said the 18km stretch between Werringla and Gongdue gewog centre at Daksa would also be improved.

The construction of the Silambi GC road began in 2007.