Road: Bumthang dzongkhag’s tender committee terminated the contractor constructing the 1.6km Dekiling-Chamkhar bypass road after he failed to complete the work on time.

The contractor handed over the work to the dzongkhag on January 10 this year. The tender committee issued the termination letter on November 28.

The dzongkhag’s site engineer, Pema Lethro, said the contractor had completed the base course while construction of a footpath and drainage had not been completed. “Blacktopping work has not at all begun,” he said.

The road construction began on July 15, 2015 and it was supposed to be completed by February 15 last year. “Due to some additional works and site condition, the contractor was given six months time extension,” the site engineer said.

The contractor, after failing to complete the work on August 15, continued the work under the 100-day liquidity damage period as per the contract’s terms. “We also sent him the final reminder, asking him to speed up the work but he could not,” said Pema Lethro. “We had no option but to terminate the work.”

Today, vehicles ply on the dusty incomplete road. Some people walk this route too.

Drivers and pedestrians using the road usually questioned why the work progress never moved forward.

The bypass was supposed to decongest traffic jams between Chamkhar town and Dekiling during the festive seasons and shorten the distance between Chamkhar town and Dekiling by half an hour.

Dekiling is about 2.5km from Chamkhar town towards Jambay Lhakhang.

In an earlier interview, dzongkhag engineer Yeshey Dorji 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 existing road is also in bad condition.

An official from the construction company executing the work said he has handed over the road to the dzongkhag as required.

He said that since they completed 90 percent of the work, the company will get Nu 8.5M from the dzongkhag. “The remaining 10 percent is blacktopping the road.”

Nima Wangdi | Chamkhar