Roads: The Gomphu-Panbang highway is expected to be completed by early next year with work on an 8km stretch from Gramlang to Chengazam in full swing.

Chengazam is 9.2km from Panbang.

The work was awarded to the contractor on January 2 this year and it is expected to be complete by January next year.

Light vehicles could not ply this stretch especially when it rained. Trucks carrying cement for the Mangdechhu hydroelectric project authority have created deep tyre tracks on this stretch.

Department of Roads junior engineer Kelzang Chophel, working on the Bjoka section under the Panbang sub-division said the work progress as of now is impressive. The contractor has laid hume pipes along with other ongoing works. “But we are worried about the monsoon,” he said.

Kelzang Chophel said they are also constructing a steel arch bridge at the site of the twin waterfalls. This is because the road gets submerged during monsoons. “We have already constructed walls, and erecting the steel arch will be done by this June,” he said.

Kelzang said the stretch is a problem for light vehicles and machines have to be deployed to clear the road frequently, especially after rain.

The road was supposed to have been completed by this year but was delayed following delayed release of funds.

Construction of the Nu 1.8 billion 44km Gomphu-Pangbang highway began in 2008. This highway connects the lower Kheng gewogs of Ngangla, Goshing, Phangkhar and Bjoka to Zhemgang.

Before the construction of the highway, road connectivity existed only until Gomphu, which is around 36km from Tingtibi. Residents of lower Kheng have already started reaping the benefits of this highway.

The highway has also enabled the construction of a gewog centre road to Phangkhar, Goshing, Ngangla and Bjoka.

Nima Wangdi | Panbang