As a result, a farm road is unused and villagers risk their safety using an unreliable one

Connectivity: Lethro and Pema Tshering reached the Rendhibi temporary town at 2pm on November 16. Both of them carried bamboo baskets and empty sacks.

They carefully placed their bamboo baskets on a bench in front of a shop and wiped away the sweat streaming down their faces.

The two men are from Langdurbi village under Bardo gewog which is a five-hour walk from Rendhibi. They are in Rendhibi to buy rice.

They started from their village at 6am that morning. It took them almost seven hours to reach Rendhibi.

Lethro, 50, said they have to start by 6am the next day and they hoped to reach home by 5-6pm.

He said the government has already constructed a farm road till Digala village but no vehicle can use it since there is no motorable bridge that connects it to the highway. “A farm road was constructed sometime in 2011 but it remains unused,” he said.

Bushes have reclaimed the road at several points. Additionally, landslides have also blocked it in a number of areas.

He said they could not bring their horses till Rendhibi since the only existing bridge over the river is not strong. Another bridge remains under construction since 2011. He left his horse at the other side of the bridge.

Pema Tshering, 60, said he will be returning home carrying a 50kg rice bag. He said the farm road will ease the lives of the people if they can use it.

People can travel till Digala by vehicle but Langdurbi is a four-hour walk away.

He said people will be thankful if a stronger bridge is constructed over the Mangdechhu at the earliest. “Construction of a bridge also began when construction of the farm road started but it was not completed,” he said.

Rinchen said the lack of proper connectivity is a more serious problem when someone requires medical attention. Eight men are required to carry a single person by stretcher.

Villagers said they would be thankful if the government could construct a strong bridge so that their horses can be brought till Rendhibi. The present pedestrian bridge is in poor condition.

The current suspension bridge was constructed for the transportation of materials to construct the Digala farm road. The bridge stands near the incomplete bridge but is risky to use with rotten planks and blocks.

Villagers said two people nearly fell into the river recently when rotten planks broke under them. Both were saved because of the loads they were carrying. “We are in dire need of at least a strong suspension bridge,” a villager from Langdurbi said.

The farm road was constructed in 2011 and the bridge construction also started around the same time. The bridge is still being constructed.

Nima Wangdi | Rendhibi