With the Department of Roads (DoR) prepared for the monsoon, roadblocks between Zhemgang and Gelephu gets cleared within hours, according to the DoR officials.

DoR officials claim that they deploy excavators and JCBs at areas prone to roadblocks to clear it.

For instance, Box Cutting near tsachu in Sershong is one location that gets blocked throughout monsoon. “We deployed two heavy machineries,” a DoR official said. “While one clears block at the Chisopany, the other is permanently deployed at Box Cutting.”

DoR officials also say they have been clearing the debris at Box Cutting every morning for a month now. “We try to open the road to traffic by 10am after heavy rain.”

DoR’s assistant engineer, Kishor Chhetri, said that although there were no major roadblocks this year, Box Cutting is a critical area between Zhemgang and Gelephu. “Road here gets blocked every night but we clear it in the morning as machines are available at the site.”

Another critical point is at Ossey, about five kilometers before reaching Jigmecholing from Gelephu. Last month, a 42-year-old truck driver died after falling off from the cliff while trying to help another truck driver, whose vehicle was stranded because of the roadblock.

DoR officials have deployed an excavator since a portion of the road was washed away last year and it has a narrow width.

DoR officials have deployed another excavator at Setikharey in Gelephu. Although Setikharey river is channelled to flow in one course, the water gets clogged under the bridge on the highway.

DoR’s assistant engineer, Phuntsho said, there is an excavator deployed at Reutala between Trongsa and Zhemgang.

In Dzongkhalum, the Mangdechhu Hydro Project Authority (MHPA) has deployed a heavy machinery to clear debris from the hillock that blocks the road.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Gelephu