Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing

Five years since the collapse of Lorikhachhu bridge in Tading gewog, Samtse, the construction of a new bridge has begun. After years of delay, works on the bridge foundation have started recently.

Lorikhachhu used to have a culvert bridge which collapsed in August 2014, just five months after it was constructed. The torrential rains for days had swollen the river which washed away the bridge.

People could cross the river in winter but it remained difficult to cross in summer.

An engineer of Samtse dzongkhag, Dil Bahadur Ghalley said the foundation works of the new bridge has started just a week ago. The new bridge would be a 27.48 metre bailey bridge.

“The contract for the works has been awarded through an open tender,” the engineer said.

Dil Bahadur Ghalley said that at present the foundation works on the right side of the abutment is ongoing. It is to see the water level, the engineer said, and further layout works to find the depth of the foundation would be carried out.

The bridge construction is funded as a small development project by government of India. A total of Nu 3.1 million (M) has been approved in the current financial year. The total budget for the bridge is Nu 8.8M and the remaining budget would be released in the next financial year.

Considering the river current and high risk of flood, the bridge length has been increased, the engineer said.

Tading gup Jagath Bahadur Ghalley said the new bridge would immensely benefit the gewog people.

“It connects five chiwogs with the gewog office” he said. “For two chiwogs, without this bridge getting to other areas on the other side of the Amochhu would impossible.”