Neten Dorji | Trashigang

With every rainfall and the impending monsoon, villagers in three chiwogs of  Lumang in Trashigang are worried about crossing Demri and Shoskomre streams. 

Every summer they swell and disconnect the gewog from rest of Trashigang. Villagers said that a bridge is crucial for the gewog. The alternative road also needs a bridge over the same stream. 

The stream is about four kilometres from gewog centre and about six kilometres from Reserbu hospital towards Lumang gewog. 

“It is difficult for us to seek services from the gewog centre,” said Reserbu-Tshangphu Tshogpa Tashi Dorji.

More than 300 households from three chiwogs are separated from the gewog centre by the streams.

Local residents said that during monsoon, the stream swells unpredictably and remained a menace to people disturbing travel and causing a threat to lives. “Construction of a bridge over the stream would only end the perennial plight,” said villager Ngawang Dema. 

She said that without a proper bridge over the stream, several vehicles remained stranded on either side of the stream every time it rained. “It is an inconvenience for people who need to avail services on time.”

“It has been many monsoons we are cut off from the rest of the dzongkhag when the flood comes,” said a resident Sumchu Dema. “People trans-shift every time. It is inconvenient for students.”  

She said that heavy vehicles on the narrow road also posed a problem for other travellers. “Recently, one of the trucks nearly went off the road.”

A parent, Ugyen Lhaden said, “We worry, as unpredictable Demri stream swells making it difficult for young children to cross.” 

Villagers said another problem has been evacuating patients during monsoon.  “We don’t understand whether the government has not allocated budget or planners failed to include the bridge in the Plan.” 

A 50-year-old resident, Chardor Dema said that it was obvious officials understood that they need the bridge. “Everybody knows we are in dire need but nothing has happened.”

Meanwhile, Lumang gup, Wandi said that as gewog centre road was handed over to dzongkhag the gewog administration is hoping for dzongkhag to solve the problem for the people. 

“We are well aware of the problem but gewog administration doesn’t have authority to allocate the budget,” he said. 

The gup said more than Nu 80 million would be needed to construct a bridge over Demri stream.