Cut off: The Nganglam-Gyalpoizhing highway is blocked at several places and will take more than a week to open to traffic

Heavy rains block roads in eastern Bhutan

Heavy rainfall on July 11 caused several roadblocks in Samdrupjongkhar and Pemagatshel damaging or washing away gewog roads and farm roads in the two dzongkhags.

However, the roadblock above Narphung, about 64km from Samdrupjongkhar to Trashigang was cleared around 2:40pm yesterday. The roadblock occurred on the night of July 13.

Block between Pemagatshel town and Mikuri

Block between Pemagatshel town and Mikuri

“There is high chance of the road getting blocked again, as there is continuous rain and falling boulders. It is also risky to travel along the highway,” a commuter said.

Meanwhile, the Nganglam- Gyalpoizhing and Nganglam- Pemagatshel highways are still closed, as there are several blocks between Kerong and Gyalpoizhing and Tshobali and Pemagatshel.

Officials said it has been about four days since the road was closed for traffic and the heavy rainfall on July 11 caused the roadblocks, adding that they had cleared the roadblocks until Kerong from Nganglam.

Officials said there are about eight major roadblocks between Kerong and Gyalpoizhing as the base of road has been washed away. “We are carrying out the clearing works, but continuous rainfall and falling boulders are hampering the works.”

“Although, we are carrying out the clearings works, we cannot say how long it would take to clear the blocks because the bad weather condition is affecting the works and it is also risky for the labourers at the site,” an official said.

Meanwhile, the Nganglam- Pemagatshel highway is likely to remain closed for more than a week.

Officials said although they are carrying out clearing works, it would take more than a week to clear the blocks because the base of the road has been washed away at several stretches between Mikuri and Pemagatshel.

Heavy rainfall has also caused damages to several gewog road and farm roadblocks in the two dzongkhags. Gewog officials said that they had immediately deployed machines to clear the blocks. “It is challenging to clear the blocks as it gets blocked again the next day because of the continuous rainfall,” said an official.

Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

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