The Manitar-Lhamoizingkha road is closed to traffic since May 22 due to landslides caused by incessant heavy rainfall.

Several stretches between 19km to 55km of the road have been affected due to the landslides.

An executive engineer with the DoR office in Phuentsholing, Neten Tshering, said it would take about a week’s time to clear the roads. “The road’s formation width is completely washed off at two points.”

The road is completely washed away at Shauja at 32.5kms and at Kezari at 19.6kms.

Other areas where the road is affected are at 30.6km at Rupang, 35km at Sonamja, and 54km at Tintaley.

DoR officials say excavating machines have been deployed to the site and the works to clear the road are ongoing.

Neten Tshering said Pasakha-Manitar route has also been affected due to a landslide at 29.9km. Only small cars can pass through.

However, traffic and road officials said the Phuentsholing-Thimphu highway did not have much problem.

The chief engineer with DoR in Phuentsholing, Dorji Wangdi, said there are no major problems. “Pasakha road, which is affected most of the time in summer, is also still pliable.”

Meanwhile, an incessant downpour over the last two days in Phuentsholing has swollen the Omchhu and Amochu, leading to the closure of the bypass route near the truck parking area that goes through Omchhu.

Two trucks were stranded while trying to cross the route.

The truck that got stuck first was fished out at 10:30pm on May 23. Later that night, another truck got stuck. An excavator was still trying to fish it out.

Traffic officials said the truck driver had removed the stones they have placed to warn drivers from driving through the river.

In Amochhu, an excavator got stranded and was partially submerged in the river.

Residents say there were no other problems at Amochhu embankments. The rain stopped by 11:30am yesterday.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing