Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Vehicle movement between Phuentsholing and Pasakha, which remained closed for the past few days following a flash flood on June 17, resumed after a temporary bypass opened yesterday. 

The bridge over the Baunijhora stream in Pasakha is still under the debris.

A flash flood caused by continuous and heavy rainfall submerged the 50ms multicellular bridge over the stream on June 17.

Despite efforts, traffic couldn’t be opened as debris kept piling up.

Department of Roads’ chief engineer in Phuentsholing, Karma Dorji, said the temporary route might also get blocked anytime.

“Just now the road is open to all types of vehicles including industrial trucks, but rainfall and flash floods might block it again,” he said.

A private construction company, Rigsar Construction was allowed to clean the debris.

An official from Rigsar said they were able to open the traffic at around 10am yesterday.

“But the bridge is still submerged,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ahalay Land Customs Station (ALCS) is still closed after floods severely hit the infrastructure and disrupted the customs and clearing documentation works, stranding over 100 industrial trucks.

Without the customs station, incoming industrial trucks have not been able to reach Pasakha industrial estate. However, outbound industrial trucks have been allowed to exit from Phuentsholing gate.

Work to restore ALCS is ongoing.

Officials said it may take another day or two to fully open traffic for the industrial trucks.

Meanwhile, the 50ms multicellular bridge is an important link between Phuentsholing and Pasakha, including the industrial estate. The bridge was completed in May 2019. The bridge is one of the three South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) projects in Pasakha constructed to improve the Pasakha bypass road and connect the industrial estate.

Over Nu 115 million have been invested in the bridge and a 1.3km road.

However, Baunijhora has always been a challenge for both Pasakha industrial estate and residents as flash floods keep disrupting the regular movements in monsoons.