Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing

With heavy rains completely washing away a portion of the road at the Sonamjha on the Manitar-Lhamoizingkha primary highway on May 2, Lhamoizingkha drungkhag in Dagana is now completely cut-off.

Sonamjha is 14km away from Manitar, towards Lhamoizingkha and 36.1km away from Jumja. Lhamoizingkha is 53km from Manitar.

The Department of Roads (DoR) will now construct a 120-feet bailey (double single reinforcement) bridge.

The executive engineer with DoR, Neten Tshering said work will begin from today.

“We will be collecting bridge materials from Rinchending and Samtse,” he said.

Neten Tshering said it will take two weeks to restore and open the traffic. A team of experts visited the site yesterday.

Sonamjha has always been a problem with erosions washing road portions every year. Landslides had occurred during the 2018 and 2019 monsoons. Although mitigation works were planned this year and a budget of Nu 5.2 million (M) approved, it couldn’t be undertaken considering various problems.

Executive engineer Neten Tshering said that excavation machines have been mobilised on both the sides of the road.

“Formation cutting would be carried out starting today and construction of the wall at both ends will  also start,” he said, adding that the bridge will then be installed.

Along with three gewogs of Lhamoizingkha, some places under Darla and Bongo gewogs also depend on this highway that connects Thimphu-Phuentsholing highway.

Lhamoizingkha is also connected with the Indian highway from Barobisha, but with the lockdown in India, no movement of vehicle is allowed. Kumargram, a village in Alipurduar, located between Barobisha and Lhamoizingkha recently reported four Covid-19 positive cases. Kumargram is just three to four km away from Lhamoizingkha.