Lhakpa Quendren | Gelephu

To reduce traffic and pedestrian accidents, the Gelephu thromde is clearing overgrown plants in the divider between the double-lane roads and bushes along the roads in town.

Thromde’s response comes following the recent media report on the safety concerns raised by the residents and commuters, particularly about the double-lane leading towards workshops from the Gelephu-Zhemgang highway.

Gelephu Thrompon Tshering Norbu said that the thromde will also conduct an inspection to find out the trees that pose potential risks. “If the trees belong to private individuals, we have to tell them about the situation. We have to really consider the risk, and ensure the safety of our people.”

The thrompon said that most of the large trees posing risks to commuters and pedestrians within thromde’s jurisdiction have been cut down. “We will also cut down the large trees near the new vegetable market and Tashi commercial building.”

“I faced so many criticisms while chopping down the trees. Some trees were found to be unhygienic despite being on the heritage list,” Thrompon Tshering Norbu said. “I understand it is difficult to destroy the shelters of birds, but we don’t have options. They will migrate to other habitats.”

However, maintaining the interior part without grasses can be a daunting task for the thromde due to a shortage of human resources and budget constraints.

“Despite our continuous efforts to cut the long grasses, they keep growing within a week. While I agree that there are places prone to accidents because of long grasses and trees, we make sure it is very clean along the highway,” Tshering Norbu said.

While some concerns were raised about the areca nut trees on the outskirts of Gelephu town posing risks to public safety, Thrompon said, it will not be appropriate for the thromde administration to ask the people to cut them down. “When there is a strong wind, hundreds of areca nut trees fall down. We cannot determine which trees might pose a risk.”

The thromde also immediately rectified the road markings in Gelephu town following the media report about the inconveniences caused by the wrong road markings on the four-lane road leading to the vegetable market shed from the main road of the border gate.

Meanwhile, the Sarpang Dzongkhag administration also removed shrubs and overgrown bushes from the Ki-Nyam Leisure Park at Samtenling along the Gelephu-Sarpang highway after the media reported on the park was covered with bushes and remained idle.