Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue

With progress in the improvement work of 8.2km gewog centre (GC), villagers of Phobjikha are happy that the troubles with the bad road would finally be over. Today, almost 65 percent of the work has been completed.  

This came as a huge relief to farmers and homestay owners in Phobjikha and Gangtey gewogs.

According to homestay owner Yangka, poor road conditions had been a concern for many visitors. “When bringing international guests, the agents complained about the bad road,” Yangka said.

Phobjikha Gup Jamtsho said that with improved road conditions, large scale potato growers would benefit immensely since it would ease transport for sale. “Farmers would raise concerns about how risky it was to have trucks with heavy loads travelling on pothole-ridden roads.”

The route to a primary health centre and the central school in Phobjikha was also bifurcated from the GC road. Currently, workers are laying of the wet mix macadam (WMM). 

Wangdue dzongkhag planning officer Passang Dorji said that the work progress was good. 

He added that the road would have a French drain system, which was more effective for marshy areas such as Phobjikha valley. 

“The blacktopping won’t take long. And the contractor has the raw materials as well. The contractor is experienced, has human resource and machinery too.”

Except for applying bitumen on the road surface four years ago, the GC road had not received any major renovation.

Gup Jamtsho said that the road was once maintained with a budget of Nu 30,000 a kilometer in the past. “Even farmers voluntarily provided tractors to help maintain the road.”

The government has approved Nu 85 million (M) for the work. Passang Dorji said that the quoted price was Nu 86.57M. “The remaining amount would be paid from the dzongkhag budget.”

The project work began in May this year. While the contract term is one year, the work is expected to complete in December this year.

Edited by Tshering Palden