Connnectivity: The Dzongkhalum roadblock is expected to be cleared in a week’s time following after the road was again closed to traffic since October 12 when the filled-in gorge was washed away by a stream.

Dzongkhalum is 11km from Trongsa towards Zhemgang.

The road at Dzongkhalum was blocked on the night of July 5 and falling boulders and trees damaged the bridge at the site on July 24.

As a result the gorge was filled up with boulders, rocks and soil to enable vehicles to pass.

However, the filled-in portion acted as a dam as the level of the stream did not reach the level where Hume pipes were laid and the filled-in portion finally gave way on October 12.

The Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project Authority’s (MHPA) chief engineer, AK Sthapak, said there was continuous heavy rain during the time and as a result the filled-up portion was washed away. He said falling boulders may have also affected the filled-up portion.

He said they are once again filling up the area that was washed away and expect the road to be open by the end of the month. “The work should be completed in three to four days from now if the situation favours,” AK Sthapak said.

Officials working at the site said the stream washed away some 30-40 percent of the filled-in portion.

Vehicles are once again using MHPA’s head-race tunnel as a bypass. However, petrol vehicles are not being allowed through the tunnel for safety reasons.

The Dzongkhalum block has persisted throughout this summer.

The area was blocked following road-widening work.

The Department of Roads and MHPA’s contractor, Bhutan Engineering Company Pvt Ltd filled up the gorge as a temporary measure until MHPA constructs a new bridge at the site.

The bridge is expected to be completed by December.

Nima Wangdi