Works on widening the East-West Highway in Trongsa is expected to complete by end of December this year, according to the Department of Roads officials in Trongsa.

Officials also claimed that about 85 percent of the works are complete as of now.

The 97km East-West Highway widening stretch in Trongsa region starts from Chuserbu to Nangar in Bumthang.

DoR officials said the widening and base course works are completed and about 40km road from Tshangkha to Nangar has to be blacktopped.

DoR’s chief engineer in Trongsa, Ugyen Dorji, said they have instructed the contractors to start the blacktopping works from the beginning of next month. “It  has to be complete by December 31.”

He said that contractors gave written undertaking letter to DoR in June this year assuring that all the works will be complete by the end of December.

Ugyen Dorji said that the works should be complete before June 2019 at any cost. “ We cannot spillover work to next financial year.”

Of the 14 packages carried out, four packages have been completed so far.

The chief engineer said some contractors, who finished the contract period, are working under liquidity damage period, which means they have to pay a penalty of maximum 10 percent of the quoted amount.

“If the contractors complete their work within December, some may have to pay penalty and others may not.”

The proprietor of Raven Builders Private Ltd, Tharchen, said blacktopping work has started and he is trying to complete the work before December.

“Our package work starts from Yangkhil resort to Bjizam and we are just left with 4.5km to be blacktopped,” he said.

Rinson construction company private limited’s site in-charge, Rinzin Dorji, said that of the 7.5km in Tshangkha area, 5km been blacktopped and they are just left with 1.5km and some other drainage works.

“We intend to complete by December first week,” he said. “But Yotongla package will be unable to complete on time because we have not yet started the blacktopping works.”

Meanwhile, Ugyen Dorji said that the main reason for the delay is because few contractors did not take the work seriously.

Ugyen Dorji | Trongsa