Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

In what could be an addition to the internal road network, Phuentshopelri (Gomtu) gewog in Samtse will soon be connected to Phuentsholing with a road from Pugli and Tading gewog.

The road, which will pave through Sisney pass in Tading will connect the Samtse-Phuentsholing highway at Suntaley. Construction has already commenced on May 1.  It is expected to take about a month to complete.

The department of roads (DoR) is taking up the project. It is a dzongkhag road.

Chief engineer with DoR, Phuentsholing regional office, Karma Dorji said that a budget of Nu 8 million (M) has been approved.

“A 16km road was already there and we have to construct only about six km to link it to the highway,” he said. “The new stretch is just the formation cutting work.”

With the new road link, the total length of the road from Gomtu to Phuentsholing will be around 44km. Today, commuters travel 103km to Phuentsholing from Samtse.

Phuentshopelri gup Robat Lepcha said the new road will benefit the gewog most in this difficult time of Covid-19.

“We are bringing in food supplies from Phuentsholing,” he said, adding that a temporary road to Samtse is used to travel to Phuentsholing.

This temporary road from Dumsidara, however, has no use once the monsoon sets in and the Khanabhati river swells, the gup said, explaining Phuentshopelri would then remain cut off. The new road will be the town’s lifeline, he added.

As the road links Phuentshopelri directly with the country’s largest trade town, Robat Lepcha said that the road will bring local economic benefits to both Phuentshopelri and Tading in the long run.