Connectivity: Rain has caused blockage and damaged the road. Chokhorling gewog in Nganglam has remained cut off from the dungkhang for more than a month.

Villagers say it has been a wait too long. The gewog office and the Department of Roads (DoR) have not been prompt at clearing the roadblocks, and they are frustrated.

There is an excavator stationed to do the clearing. But there it has stayed put for more than 30 days. It doesn’t move; no one makes it move.

Major roadblocks have occurred in Yarjung, but there are several points in the gewog that need to be cleared. For the villagers, going to gewog centre and dungkhag office has become a problem.

Jigme, a farmer, said that people have to walk for almost four hours from the gewog to reach Yarjung. A van that belongs to a Tshogpa transports villagers to Shuguri village. From here, they have to walk to Dezamo village.

“From Dezamo we call vehicles from Nganglam and only then we can reach the town,” said Jigme. “Had DoR cleared the road from the beginning, road condition wouldn’t have been like this.”

This has happened after the GC road was handed over to the DoR, say villagers.  When the road was under the gewog, roadblocks used to be cleared within days although summer rains frequently damaged the road, said a farmer.

Yarjung Tshogpa Jigme Wangchuk said that gewog office has written, several times, to the DoR officials. Road condition has remained the same, however.

Gup Tshiltrim Dorji said: “We’ve complained the excavator has remained idle and the roadblocks are getting worse. And as always, we’re told that some parts of the machine are missing and that they are trying to get them.”

No additional budget has been allocated to clear the road since it is the responsibility of the DoR, added Tshiltrim Dorji.

Chief engineer Dorji Gyeltshen, who is based in Samdrupjongkhar, said that DoR is doing everything possible in its capacity to clear the road.

“The extent of the damage is very severe and machine has broken down, which is why it is taking time to repair the road,” he said.

This is the first time roadblocks have occurred after DoR took over, said Dorji Gyeltshen. “We need to do fresh cutting at one of the points and then the road will be repaired.”

Yangchen C Rinzin, Samdrupjongkhar