Kelzang Wangchuk | Lauri

Residents of Lauri gewog in Jomotshangkha, Samdrupjongkhar, will now have to wait another six months for their gewog connectivity (GC) road blacktop to complete.

The Samdrupjongkhar dzongkhag tendering committee (DTC) on June 8 approved and gave the six months extension to the contractors who are executing the Lauri GC road blacktopping work.

The Nu 105 million (M) blacktopping work was supposed to complete in April this year. It now has until  December 31 this year to finish the remaining work.

Jomotshangkha drungpa, Lamdra Wangdi, said the dzongkhag administration issued the work order in March 2020 for 15 months, adding that as per the initial deadline, it was supposed to complete in June last year.

He said the dzongkhag warned and told the contractors their contract would be terminated because they did not start the work for almost 10 months. “The contractors then started the work in January last year.”

Since the contractors could not complete within the deadline, the drungpa said the contractors were given a time extension for 10 months from July last year to April this year. “They still failed to complete the work.”

He said the DTC decided to give a time extension for another six months as the contractors could not bring materials due to the several lockdowns in Jomotshangkha and Samdrupjongkhar.

“The contractors would be terminated if they could not complete the work on time which is in December this year or they have to continue the work on liquidity damage (LD),” the drungpa said.

Indanila construction’s proprietor, Tshewang Rinzin, said they have completed the laying of the granular sub-base (GSB) and 50 percent drain construction. “Only the laying of wet mix macadam (WMM) and blacktopping are left.”

He said they could not complete the work on time because the crusher got damaged and had to be sent to Guwahati in India for repair as they didn’t get the spare parts in Bhutan.

Tshewang Rinzin said the frequent power cuts also affect the work because they cannot run the crusher, adding that it is also challenging to construct the drain because the rain damages and wash away them.

“Since we cannot carry out the blacktopping work until October end as the rain would affect the quality of the work, we have requested the time extension until June next year, but we were given only six months. We would work hard but it would be challenging for us to complete in December,” Tshewang Rinzin said.

Muensel construction’s proprietor, Sonam Tshewang, said the work got delayed because they had to transport the materials to the site via Samdrupjongkhar from Phuentsholing as there was no direct escort service.

“We also like to complete the work on time because it incurs losses to us but we could not because we have to take our machines either to Samdrupjongkhar or India for repairing as the lone workshop in Jomotshangkha lacks the skilled mechanic,” Sonam Tshewang said.