Road: The people of Dangchu gewog in Wangdue are disappointed with the poor quality of their 18km gewog centre road which was blacktopped less than a month ago.

Blacktopping of the gewog centre road to Dangchu, that connects from Jangchubling (Lamsergang) on the Wangdue-Trongsa highway which is around 3km away from Nobding, started during the former local government’s tenure sometimes last year.

However, after completing the base course, work came to a halt following heavy and continuous rainfall, said gewog officials. Work resumed with blacktopping commencing in November last year.

Dangchu’s mangmi, Sonam Dorji said that he informed the Department of Roads (DoR) and the dzongkhag about the quality of the road. “We are seeing the newly paved parts developing cracks and gradually small potholes,” said Sonam Dorji.

On the dzongdag’s suggestion the gewog has filed a written complaint to both DoR and Wangdue dzongkhag. Following which a DoR team visited the site and suspended the work for two weeks. However, work has resumed without any rectification.

Sonam Dorji said the gewog again approached the DoR office in Nobding raising concerns about the quality of the road. DoR officials informed the gewog that the contractor has been asked to change the sand used for blacktopping.

However, Sonam Dorji said the change in sand being used has resulted in no improvement in the quality of the road. Cracks are developing on every part of the road, he said.

“We are worried because the contractor has completed the work and even removed  machinery from the site,” said Sonam Dorji. “People not just frequently complain to the gewog office but even to the DoR office in Nobding,” he said.

People also raised their concerns during a recent public meeting with their National Council representative Tashi Dorji.

Officials with the DoR office in Nobding said the contractor is still repairing the road, however due to extreme weather the work has been suspended. Officials said work will resume on March 15. The contractor is required to rectify all defects.

DoR officials said that they are yet to release 45 percent of the payment due to the contractor, and that they would do so only after defects on the road are rectified. The DoR team will then conduct a final quality check and release full payment only if the required standard is met.

The total cost of blacktopping the gewog centre road is Nu 52.2 million including repair of drainage, the base course and other additional works.

Dawa Gyelmo | Wangdue