Kabesa residents and commuters using Pangrizampa Bridge in Thimphu are concerned about the safety of the bridge.

The baily bridge, which spans 80 feet in length with load capacity of about 15 metric tonnes was built in 2007.

Dorji Wangmo from Kabesa said hundreds of commuters crossed the bridge everyday. “It is not just the people living in the area. There are people who use the bridge for construction purposes. Usually, big vehicles carry construction materials such as sands, stones, logs, and cement. Everyday at least 6 trucks cross the bridge.”

She said that the bridge got damaged due to heavy vehicles.  “There are holes in the bridges. It poses risk to the commuters during the night because the condition has worsened over the years.”

Department of Roads (DoR) filled the holes with wood slabs on October 23.

Kawang Gup Thubten Wangchuck said that whenever possible, the DoR provided support for maintenance. “DoR has always been prompt in responding to our problems related to the bridge.”

He said that most of the people in the past used to take the route near Dechencholing fuel depot to Begana instead of crossing Pangrizampa. “People in general do not take responsibility to fix it or help repair it. They expect everything to be done by the government. It is not easy to do this immediately.”

A resident of Kabesa, who did not want to be named, said that although maintenance was going on for about five years now, the condition of the bridge had worsened. At one time, even stones were used to fill the holes.

A DoR official said that after they saw pictures in the social media, they worked to fix the bridge. “Kabesa town planning meeting has a requirement of a bridge. We are working out the cost estimate, which would be submitted to the DoR head office. Although temporary, the bridge can last for some time with the timber. We have asked people to contact us if there are problems with the bridge.”

Rinchen Zangmo