Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

The monsoon this year caused a landslide below the existing Rinchending check post in Phuentsholing, activating the already landslide-prone area.

The road where the check post stands has also developed some minor cracks.

Many people are worried that the cracks could impact the integrated check post that is under construction and expected to see completion soon.

Officials, however, said the cracked area is far from the integrated check post foundation and there are no risks.

The chief engineer with the Department of Engineering Services under the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS), Dechen Norbu, said the cracked area, which is at the existing check post, is more than 150 metres away from the foundation of the integrated check post.

“It will not impact the new integrated check post,” he said.

  Monsoon has left the road of the current Rinchending checkpost with minor cracks

Monsoon has left the road of the current Rinchending checkpost with minor cracks

The official also said that the detailed sub-soil investigation of the project and foundation depths, which is six metres, is properly and accordingly designed.

But the landslide at the slope protection area below the existing check post has activated again.

This slope below the existing Rinchending check post had been a cause of concern.

However, mitigation work under the National Adoption Program of Action (NAPA)-II project funded by Global Environment Facilities (GEF) completed in 2018 brought relief.

Officials said there were no landslides reported until this summer.

Including this mitigation, there were a total of four landslide mitigation projects under NAPA-II in Phuentsholing. GEF provided funds of over USD 4.38 million (M).

Meanwhile, although the current status of the slide may not be as much of a concern today, many are pointing out that fresh mitigation measures must be initiated to ensure the future safety of the new integrated check post.

The new integrated check post is a reinforced concrete elevated flyover deck. The budget for this flyover deck is Nu 331.71M. The construction commenced in August 2016.

The check post is expected to improve services. It will house the offices of the police, immigration, customs, food regulatory authority, and forest department in one building.

On completion of the project, the infrastructure developed shall be handed over to the Bureau of Law and Order of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs.

The MoWHS official said the construction of the project will end this month.

“The work is going on full swing and its operation is expected to begin in January 2022.”