Choki Wangmo | Dagana

Landslides triggered by heavy monsoon have damaged two bridges over Panachhu and Amphichhu in Dagana.

The structures in Tsendagang and Tashiding gewogs were rendered unstable due to erosion of the areas surrounding these bridges, posing risk to commuters.

The traffic is currently being diverted through a bypass at Panachhu. However, during heavy rainfall, commuters said that it is risky for light vehicles.

“The stream forms a pond and the light vehicles could get washed away,” a cab driver, Ash Bdhr, said.

Another cab driver from Gangzur, Sangay Sherpa, said that it was challenging to use the bypass during heavy rain. “There is damage to the engine. My car recently got stuck at Panakhola. It is risky too.”

“The bridges could collapse any time. Heavy vehicles further cause damage to structures,” said a resident.

A stretch of road is also eroded at Dagachhu. During monsoon, landslides and roadblocks are common.

Assistant engineer with the Department of Roads, Arjun Bdhr Katwal, said that the maintenance works are underway and would be completed within a month. “Concrete setting works at Panachhu would take a minimum of 21 days. Abutment height was increased as the bridge was tilted in the middle,” he said.

At Amphichhu, he said that it would take about 28 days to complete the wing wall construction and conduct a strength test if the weather holds.

“Due to the grease, it is risky for workers to carry out reinforcement works. Heavy rainfall has impeded the work progress,” the assistant engineer said.

The National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology, on August 29, announced that heavy rainfall is likely over the southern parts of the country from August 31 to September 1.