Kelzang Wangchuk | Lauri

Blacktopping of the Lauri gewog centre (GC) road in Samdrupjongkhar, which had been stalled because of the pandemic, resumed a month ago.

The blacktopping of the 36km GC road was awarded to three contractors on packages. Contractors are laying a granular sub-base (GSB) from both sides of the road and have completed about 25 percent of the work.

Contractors also have to construct drains and walls. However, residents are not happy with the work progress.

“The blacktopping work would have been completed by this time if contractors had started it on time,” a resident, Pema Tshomo, said. She said that it would help if the contractors could speed up the work.

Another resident, Namgay Lhamo, 33, said the delay in blacktopping impacts their crops. “We grow sweet buckwheat as a winter crop. Dust affects growth.” She also said progress on the road has been slow.

According to Pema Dema, 39, concerned officials should monitor the progress, but no one has been at the site to monitor the work.

Dzongkhag officials said contractors were given a time extension until June of next year as they could not bring in workers and materials because of the lockdown in Jomotshangkha.

Meanwhile, the blacktopping project worth more than Nu 110 million was supposed to be completed in December of this year.

The road would benefit more than 500 families in the gewog and some villages of Serthi gewog.

Edited by Tashi Dema