Road: Unlike past years, drivers and visitors will not have to face traffic jams between Chamkhar town and Dekiling during festivals.

This is because the Chamkhar-Dekiling bypass road will be completed by the end of next month.

Dzongkhag engineer Yeshey Dorji said the bypass road will be completed by the end of next month. He said 70 percent of the work has been completed as of now. This include drainage and footpaths.

Yeshey Dorji explained that they have completed laying a 40mm thick base and are now preparing a second 20mm layer of aggregate mixed with clay. “Then only we can lay a Bitumen coating,” he said.

This is the first road under the Bumthang Urban Infrastructure Development Project.

Yeshey Dorji reasoned that the bypass is necessary because the existing road from above Wangduechholing Lower Secondary School is narrow and causes traffic jams especially during the festivals. The distance from Chamkhar town to Dekiling will also be shortened by about half a kilometre once the 1.6km bypass is completed. Dekiling is about 2.5km from Chamkhar town towards Jambay Lhakhang.

Yeshey Dorji also said that the bypass had to be constructed as there is a school and hospital located by the existing road. He pointed out that the road is also in bad condition.

“This will be shorter, faster and an easier route,” he said.

The road will be double lane and 10m wide.

Yeshey Dorji said construction of the bypass started in January this year and was supposed to be completed by March. However, delays occurred.

The Government of India is funding the project under project tied assistance.

Another 1.6km bypass will also be constructed from near Wangduechholing resort in the second phase of the project. Wangduechholing resort is located just outside Chamkhar town.

The road will cut from below Yu Gharling resort to Jakar Lhakhang and travellers will not have to go through Chamkhar town.

The dzongkhag has already floated tender and is expecting to award the work to contractor by the end of this month. He said the bypass road will serve as the main road for the upper Chamkhar Local Area Plan 1.

The road from Chamkhar bridge to Bathpalathang will also be widened in the third phase. “The road length will be only 600m but the magnitude of the work will be high since they cannot cut hill unlike elsewhere,” Yeshey Dorji said.

They will widen the road by constructing retention walls from the riverbed. “Hill cutting may pose dangers of land slides to Kharchu dratshang,” he said.

The road widening will be completed by the end of this year.

Nima Wangdi | Bumthang