Landslides block Gelephu – Zhemgang highway at Ossey

The Gelephu – Zhemgang highway has been blocked again after a series of landslides washed away portions of the road at different locations since July 2.

According to road officials, there are three major roadblocks at Aie slip, Box cutting and Ossey.  Efforts to clear the block were delayed because of flash floods caused by heavy rainfall.

The blocks at Box cutting and Aie slip were cleared yesterday evening. This was the third time that the road at Aie slip and Box cutting had been blocked this year.

Road officials said the block at Ossey, which is 27 kilometers away from Gelephu, is reported to be severe with the whole hillock sliding with boulders. In an email interview, Chief Engineer of Sarpang, Chet Bdr. Mongar said that almost 15 meters of the road had been washed away at Ossey because of landslides.

Constant falling of boulders and soil erosion has also increased the risk for people working at the site, which has slowed down the work progress, he said.

“It cannot be confirmed when the block would be cleared because of the inability to work effectively due to continuous rainfall,” Chet Bdr. Mongar said.

An investigation by the road officials found that there were a series of huge cracks on the face of the hillock, which caused the formation of a massive landslide.

Two excavators have already been deployed to work at Ossey. Other equipment like air compressors are also arranged at the site.

Kinley Tshering Dendup

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