Almost 60 percent of the works has been completed

Singye Lekden | Intern 

The ongoing sewerage line replacement and installation of underground cable duct project along Zamdo Lam in Changzamtog, Thimphu, has been causing major inconveniences to the public.

Almost six months after Passang Construction Pvt Ltd began the works, only about 60 percent is complete as of now.

Residents and commuters are growing impatient with the slow pace of work.

A resident, Tshewang, said that very little progress has been made in the last six months, affecting movement for both men and vehicles.

According to the site engineer, Sonam Choki, the current stretch of work was supposed to complete within a month but lockdown affected the progress.

She said that the Build Bhutan Project workers were not interested to work at the location. “Since the work involves wastewater, many shy away from it.”

She said the first stretch of restoration works started in early August last year and were supposed to complete within a month. “The second stretch started from mid-September. Both the stretches were supposed to complete within a month after it was started.”

The site engineer said that the non-availability of skilled labour was one of the major challenges in executing the work on time. “When we import skilled workers, the entire logistics takes over two months, which includes the quarantine period and other paperwork.”

Besides the residents, business owners in the locality also complained that due to the trenches dug along the roadside, their businesses were affected as there were no parking space for customers.

Some of the shopkeepers said that the poor road condition has deterred delivery trucks from coming to drop the stocks.

The project also received resistance from the residents even before the works began.

Passang Construction company employee, Pema Seldon said residents do not understand that manually digging out the pipes is almost impossible due to the thick layer of tar and the hard rock beneath. “That is why we have to involve heavy machinery which in turn has to be timed as per the traffic rules.”

Sonam Choki said that the project is expected to complete by this month. “However, it would depend on the availability of skilled workers and cooperation from the residents.”