Nim Dorji | Trongsa

The road widening from viewpoint to Trongsa town, which was halted for more than 6 months after termination of the contract, has resumed. 

About 15 km was divided into two packages and under the Department of Roads, (DOR) regional office in Trongsa was still incomplete. It was part of 97km road with 14 packages of the Northern East-West highway widening work from Chuserbu to Nangar in Bumthang. 

The contract works of Druk Lhayul Construction was terminated on March 6 and contract work of Raven Construction was terminated on May 28. 

The work from Viewpoint to Bjeezam and Bjeezam to Trongsa were taken over by DoR on June 13 and 25 respectively. 

With the contractors, who were awarded the work, terminated for failing to execute the work, retendering works were done last year.

The work is in full swing.

The contract period for package one from Viewpoint to Bjeezam is for 15 months and the package from Bjeezam to Trongsa is for 12 months. 

DoR officials said the two previous contractors were terminated as they showed no progress and kept missing all the deadlines.  “Several notifications were issued to surrender the work, but after their denial, a neutral body consisting of officials from DoR, dzongkhag and gewog took over the work in June last year as per the directive from the ministry,” an official said. 

Trongsa residents say incomplete road widening hampers commuters as the road becomes muddy during monsoon and dusty in winter.

A regular commuter said that it feels like travelling on a farm road as the road condition is not good. “Since the widening work has resumed, I hope it will be completed on time,” he said. 

The commuters face challenges during monsoon as most of the time, the road remains muddy. Several roadblocks occur on the same stretch as well. 

A taxi driver said, “Since we have to travel regularly on this particular road, we need to change some of the vehicle parts frequently.”

Some shared that the spare parts which last two years last only six months. 

The east-west national highway widening begun in 2015 and was scheduled to complete in 2017.