Jigmi Wangdi 

The construction of the 1.3km road between Druk School and Changbangdu that began in 2017 will be completed within a month, according to Thimphu thromde officials. 

A thromde official in an email interview said that the construction of that road was done in different phases. The first phase which started in 2017 included formation cutting, construction of footpaths, roadside drains, cable ducts, walls and laying base course for certain stretches. 

“All the works under the first phase were completed in 2017 but due to budget constraints, blacktopping was not included in that phase,” said the thromde official. 

At the site, most of the streetlights have been installed and the drains constructed. 

“In April 2022, the second phase started which included blacktopping and other necessary rectifications. Around 80 percent of the work has been completed,” the official said.   

Vegetable vendors at the Upper Changzamtog Vegetable market said that the delay in the completion of the road is hampering their business. They said it has been a year since the market opened, but owing to the bad road conditions, not many visited the market. 

“It has been difficult to sell our products and often the vegetables rot,” a vendor said. “Some vendors stopped operating.” 

There are only three vegetable vendors operating in the area and most of the stalls, including a meat shop, remain closed.

The thromde official said that besides the lockdowns during the Covid-19 Pandemic, a major cause for delay in construction was the difficulty in obtaining the right of way for the road from two private plot owners. “But these issues have been finally resolved.”   

A resident in upper Changzamtog Sapana Dahal said, “The road conditions have been pathetic in the past. Even people had difficulty walking on the road. So it remained hardly used.”

Sapana Dahal also said that taxi drivers and school buses refused to ply in the area. “The condition of the road has improved greatly compared to the past.”