Following heavy and incessant rainfall on July 9, multiple roadblocks were reported across the country.

A major landslide has blocked the recently opened road at Ossey along Gelephu-Zhemgang highway. Department of Roads (DoR) officials in Sarpang said that continuous rainfall has hindered clearing works in the area. “The road is expected to open to traffic later today provided the weather is favourable,” said an official.

Clearing works were also being conducted at the other two landslide prone areas along the highway – Box-cut (15km from Gelephu towards Zhemgang) and Aie-slip (8km from Gelephu towards Shershong gewog).

While the block at Aie-slip was opened towards the evening yesterday, loose soil and falling boulders posed danger at site. “We have cleared the road but anytime it could be blocked again if the rain doesn’t stop.”

The Dawla stream in Gelephu, one of the tributaries of Mao Khola also swelled cutting off traffic yesterday. The rise in the water level at the small Aipoly river closed all traffic along the Gelpehu-Sarpang highway.

In absence of a bridge, a temporary passage was opened through the riverbed below the bridge. The reinforced concrete cement (RCC) bridge was completely washed away last month.

The road was reopened in the afternoon when the water level subsided.

Major roadblocks were also reported at Sunkosh junction and the bridge towards Dagana. Another block was reported along the bifurcation of bypass about 5kms from the Chukha check post.

Several vehicles also remained stranded in Narphung along the Trashigang-Samdrupjongkhar highway after a major landslide closed the highway. Trashigang and Mongar also reported multiple roadblocks.

Most of the blocks were cleared towards the afternoon yesterday. However, officials said that continuous rain could trigger further damages at the sites.

Meanwhile, the roadblocks between Panbang and Manas and Tingtibi and Panbang in Zhemgang remain closed to traffic as of yesterday.

Younten Tshedup