Works have begun 

Neten Dorji | Trashigang

Travel between Chagzam in Trashigang and Trashiyangtse has become a tiring journey with countless potholes and bad road condition due to lack of proper drainage.

Commuters complain that it is worse mainly for expecting mothers and the sick. The road condition remained so bad that it became a recurrent issue of debate in the Dzongkhag Tshogdu.

A taxi driver, Karchung said, “They call it a highway, but it is like rough road. It has been more than three years of continuous widening work.”

He said monsoon has arrived and risk for travellers has increased manifold.

A regular commuter, Kinzang Penjor from Trashiyangtse said passengers have bad experience travelling on the bumpy highway.

“It also consumes time and a lot of fuel. It takes more than an hour to reach Doksum, which used to take less than 30 minutes.”

A bolero driver, Tshering Dendrup said he has spent Nu 6,000 last month for maintenance. “We have to carry out repairs at least twice a month. Nothing has improved on this route.”

“It is only in remote dzongkhags highway remain in poor condition,” another taxi driver said. “To called a highway, the road should be properly maintained with blacktop.”

However, there is some progress as the roads department (DoR) is resurfacing one kilometre out of the 8km between Chagzam–Doksum on the Trashigang-Trashiyangtse highway.

DoR Chief Engineer in Trashigang, Sonam Tenzin said that by the end of the next financial year, blacktopping work on the remaining 8km would be complete.

“With the budget of Nu 17 million (M), the contractor will blacktop and resurface,” he said.

DoR officials said that they proposed a budget of Nu 50 million for the remaining blacktopping work and the resurfacing work between Buyang and Trashiyangtse.

“We would also blacktop 10-kilometre highway between Doksum and Koncholing, in coming financial year with budget support from Kholongchhu Hydroelectric project.”

One of the officials said they proposed for the budget to complete the entire blacktopping work but the ministry prioritised and approved for the one kilometre.

“This is the main reason that road between Chagzam and Doksum remains in poor condition. We don’t understand why the ministry has slashed the proposed budget,” an official said.