Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Almost two years after remote Yangmalashing village in Dechenling gewog, Pemagatshel, is connected with a farm road, farmers couldn’t use it as there is no bridge over Kerongdrang stream.

Kerodrang separates the village from the gewog.

Villagers say a bridge over the stream could have helped them transport their vegetables and oranges to the nearest market. Yangmalashing has the highest orange production in Nganglam drungkhag.

According to villagers, debris block the hume pipes during monsoon and some portions of the road also gets washed away. “If there is a proper bridge over the stream, the village would be connected to Nganglam drungkhag and the gewog centre through Kerong village in Choekhorling gewog,” a villager said.

Villagers said that Kerongdrang becomes a menace in summer. “It swells in summer even when there is a slight rain,” a villager, Rinchen Zangpo, said.

The 54-year-old farmer said the gewog administration had installed three hume pipes to divert the water,but it does not serve the purpose because it gets blocked in the summer. “People have to walk via Kerong village, which is about more an hour walk uphill.”

He said besides carrying rations on their back, they have to transport oranges paying Nu 50 per pon (80 pieces) and Nu 100 per bag of rice carrying on horses, adding that only the light vehicles can ply along the farm road.

Despite being connected to a farm road, a villager, Chimi Wangchuk, said they still have to carry patients to the other side of the stream during emergencies. “Having the road doesn’t serve its purpose without the bridge.”

Villagers said they raised the matter to the gewog administration through the chiwog tshogpa and the gewog awarded the clearing works but the contractor did not the clear the road properly. “We are not happy as heavy vehicles could not ply through the road,” a villager said.

Yangmalashing chiwog tshogpa, Nidup Tshewang, said the village is in dire need of a bridge and raised the issue in the gewog tshogde.

He, however, said the gup informed that gewog has no plan for a bridge until the next five year Plan.

The 12kms farm road would benefit more than 50 households in Yangmalashing chiwog.