Infrastructure: With potholes appearing on the first gewog centre road less than a year after it was paved, local leaders raised the need for monitoring and maintenance when carrying out such works, during the final dzongkhag tshogdu held last week.

Shelgana gewog was the first to get its gewog centre road surfaced in Punakha.

Work to blacktop the Chubu and Tewang gewogs, which share a road started in two contract packages and were awarded by the Department of Roads (DoR).

Local leaders of Shelgana and Dzomi said the road from Khuruthang bridge to Shelgana, Bemji had developed several potholes while some parts had broken up. At least 10m of the road had also been left unpaved, they pointed out.

They asked if the damaged parts could be repaired soon and the remaining 10m paved.

Local leaders also pointed out that better roadside drainage is required.

Chubu Gup Sonam Tobgay said work to blacktop the road to Mendrelgang, Chubu gewog centre had been awarded to three contractors. The gup pointed out that it has been observed that there is a lack of monitoring at the site and that the base course is being constructed without gravel.

He added that a truck nearly got into an accident after slipping through the muddy base course. The gup said that when it rains the risk of an accident is increased. If the works are not monitored from the start, problems could occur once the road is blacktopped, he said.

DoR officials said the Shelgana road has been awarded to two contractors, Hi-tech construction and BK construction, and both were informed about the requirement for maintenance. While both contractors are willing to carry out maintenance they also informed DoR that they are waiting for the entire area that has broken up to “come out”, so that they can do a full repair.

However, DoR officials said residents of Shegnagna and Zomi should also take care to not allow water to overflow onto the road, as it can cause potholes and other destruction.

The Goenshari gup requested the dzongkhag tshogdu to change the contractor for the Shari-chiwog road given slow progress. Following the gup’s request, a dzongkhag team inspected the site.

The road’s site engineer Sonam Tobgay said the team obtained an assurance letter from the contractor stating that the road will be completed within the given time or by August, this year.

Dawa Gyelmo | Punakha