Choki Wangmo | Dagana

For the three gewogs of Lhamoidzingkhag drungkhag in Dagana, monsoon season not only wreaks infrastructural havoc but cuts off the region from other parts of the country for weeks.

The erratic rainfall in the past few days had completely cut off the drungkhag with reports of several roadblocks along Manitar-Lhamoidzingkha and Dagapela-Lhamoidzingkha primary national highways (PNH).

As of yesterday, according to the Department of Roads (DoR), the 13-km roadblock at Lamalameney and 13.7km block at Chunaikhola along Lhamoidzingkha-Raidak could not be cleared.

“There is major destruction at Lhamoidzingkha-Raidak PNH. A 7-metre culvert has been washed away by the flash flood due to heavy rainfall. The road is closed and the field engineer is exploring possibilities of a bypass construction,” the notification from the DoR stated.

Roads in Lhamoidzingkha have been blocked at various points

Roadblocks were also reported at Kelzari, Shawja, Alay, and Sonamjha along Jumja-Raidak road. However, the road till Kelzari was open for a single lane commute.

Sonamjha has always been a problem with erosion washing portions of the road every year.

The swollen streams along Lhamoidzingkha-Dalbari secondary national highway washed away temporary bridges, creating blocks at various stretches.

Nichula Gup Nima Wangchuk Sherpa said that the gewog centre is cut off from other chiwogs due to landslides and fallen trees.

He said that although heavy rain is expected in the next few days as forecasted by the National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology, the administration was planning to clear the roadblocks so that students and commuters can use the road.

“We are worried about the expenses as we would need a budget for such activities and the budget activities are closed for this financial year,” he said, adding that the gewog was hopeful about getting assistance from the dzongkhag administration.

The gewog administration submitted a draft disaster report to disaster focal in the dzongkhag and the drungkhag administration.

For the gewog residents, without a motorable road connection, it has become challenging to get essential items. The gewog is only connected with a suspension bridge.

In such situations, the gup said that with the nearest Basic Health Unit, health sub-post, and hospital located 10km-18km away from the gewog, it would be challenging in case of health emergencies.  

The situation is expected to worsen during the peak monsoon season from July to September.

Some residents living nearby Sunkosh river in Lhamoidzingkha gewog are also worried as they live in fear of flash floods from the swollen river without a sturdy retention wall.

Residents said that they sought interventions to reduce risks but to no avail.

However, residents said that they have stocked up essential items to last at least a few weeks in case the roadblocks couldn’t be cleared any sooner.