The road to Jamkhar gewog in Trashiyangtse was recently blacktopped. Human Settlement Minister Dorji Choden inaugurated the 5.75km gewog centre (GC) road from Tshergom to the gewog office in Woongchilu yesterday.

“Blacktopping of the road has been long time coming for the people of Jamkhar,” said Khandu, a farmer. “Prior to the completion of blacktopping project, we also suffered a lot.”

The 64-year-old farmer said that taxi drivers in Trashigang would refuse to go to the gewog. “Even if the drivers agreed to travel, they would charge double the fare.”

Former Jamkhar gup, Karma, said: “It would take us more than 35 minutes to reach Tshergom from the gewog centre. But now it just takes about 10 minutes. It has now become very convenient for all the people in the gewog.”

Tshergom is the point where the GC road connects the Chazam-Doksum highway.

Jamkhar Mangmi Tshering Edon said that with the road blacktopped, it would facilitate faster and easier transportation of goods to and from the gewog. “People were reluctant to travel on the bumpy road, which often resulted in shortage of essential goods in the gewog.”

Constructed at a cost of Nu 14.29 million, the GC road is expected to benefit some 350 households in the gewog.

Of the eight gewogs in Trashiyangtse, the Department of Roads (DoR) has completed the blacktopping projects in Jamkhar (5.75km), Toedtsho (5.75km) and Ramjar (16km) gewogs.

DoR officials said that blacktopping project for Tongzhang’s GC road was cancelled because of the Kholongchhu project. The GC roads in Yangtse and Khamdang gewogs didn’t require blacktopping as it was already connected to the highway.

The department has completed blacktopping 27.05km of the total 49.85km GC roads in the dzongkhag. Officials said that work in Yalang and Bumdeling gewogs would be completed before May next year.

The minster highlighted some of the major achievements of the government in the east in the last four years. She said that the government started four new colleges in the east and is currently blacktopping all the GC roads and widening the east-west highway.

Younten Tshedup | Trashiyangtse