Neten Dorji | Trashigang
Highlanders of Sakteng are disappointed that the Sakteng gewog connectivity (GC) roads have not yet been blacktopped.
The deadline to complete blacktopping of the 31km GC roads from Dogorom to Sonadrang was May 2022. It was extended until December 2022 after the contractor missed the deadlines.
Highlanders say that despite the deadline nearing, there has been little. The condition of GC roads has worsened due to monsoon and landslides.
“We wonder whether this is because of lack of monitoring, Tshering Wangchuk, a highlander, said.
Another highlander, Sangay Dorji, said: “The blacktopping work would have been completed on time had the contractor started the work on time, which did not happen.”
A resident, Leki Khadu, said the granular sub-base (GSB) is getting damaged and it would be difficult to travel along the road very soon, adding that it is already difficult for light vehicles.
Sakteng gup, Tshewang Tshering, said the work was delayed because the contractor could not mobilise the resources and labour during the pandemic.
“The contractor was supposed to complete the work within two years. With discussion with dzongkhag we extended the deadline until December,” he said. “ But there has been no development from the contractor’s side.”
A regular commuter said: “The contractor has to be terminated since he fails to complete the work on time. It is an unnecessary burden on the government and travellers. We want a quality road, on time.”
The contractor, Tashi Tobgay, said that the work was delayed because of several lockdowns and heavy rains.
“But we are working. We want to complete the work on time because it incurs losses if we do not work,” he said.
He said out of 31km of road, WMM has been laid for 21km. GSB has been already completed.
The project is worth Nu 91.38 million.