Neten Dorji | Phongmey

Villagers of Phongmey in Trashigang are excited about the new bridge that will be up and ready before monsoon this year.

Monsoon is the season that the people of Phongmey dread because the village never had a reliable bridge over the Dungjuri stream.

Villagers, students and office-goers battle the swelling river every summer without a safe and reliable bridge.

Once complete, the bridge will benefit more than 300 households in Phongmey and Joenkhar under Sakteng Gewog.

Residents said that every summer, people have to go through difficult times, crossing the Dungjuri stream.

“The stream swells during monsoon, blocking the passage through the road. It poses threats, especially to students,” said a resident, Yangzom.

She said that children and the elderly often slip and fall into the river.

A villager, Tshering Dorji, said that people face difficulties while crossing the swollen stream during monsoon. “Now we are happy that the bridge will solve our problem soon.”

The road is the lifeline for the people of Sakteng, schools and Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary office.

“For years we suffered, especially during the monsoon. We would be cut off from the rest of the dzongkhag,” said a resident, Norbu. “We have another route which connects gewog with Yabrang village, but it is risky to travel through that route in summer.”

Phongmey gup, Namgyel Wangdi, said that people have been raising the issue during gewog tshogde every year. Nu 0.8 million has been allocated to build the bridge abutments and wing walls.