Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupcholing

Residents of Tshangchuthama in Samdrupcholing drungkhag, Samdrupjongkhar, say they need of reinforcement concrete (RC) bridge with footpath.

This is because the bailey bridge over the river is too narrow and could only fit in vehicles to ply through. 

A resident, Sherab Zangpo, 40, said students might fall in the river while crossing the bridge as the bridge is only wide enough for vehicles. “We are worried about our school-going children during peak hours.”

He claimed the bridge might collapse as overloaded trucks ply over it. “It is a temporary bridge.”

Another resident, Tshewang Chophel, 35, said with the trucks ferrying coal for the State Mining Corporation Limited (SMCL) plying over it, the bridge became risky for vehicles and pedestrians.

He said although the school is near his home, he has to drop and pick up his children because of the bridge problem. “It would help us if the Department of Road could construct a new bridge.”

Residents said it wouldn’t cost much if the DoR could construct the new RC bridge connecting the existing RC bridge, adding that they have requested the concerned authorities several times for the new bridge, but nothing has been done so far.

DoR’s chief engineer in Samdrupjongkhar, Kinzang Wangchuk, said although the new bridge construction was in 12th Plan, it had to be dropped because of reprioritisation.

He said the office proposed Nu 39M to construct a bridge in this fiscal year, but it will not be possible now. “The office would propose for the footpath in the next fiscal year if residents need it. We would also include the bridge in the 13th Plan as a top priority.”

The chief engineer said that since the capacity for the bailey bridge is 18MT, they would write to the SMCL because the trucks are carrying more than 20MT.

Edited by Tashi Dema