Monsoon menace to cost millions

Roads: Monsoon this year could give rise to financial burden for Department of Roads (DoR) in Phuentsholing region.

Construction cost of gewog connectivity (GC) roads is likely to shoot up.

Damages to roads due to the  monsoon in 2014 cost DoR about Nu 30 million(M). This year, the loss may go up to Nu 50M, said a road official in Phuentsholing.

Officials said that the recently inaugurated Halhaley (Dorokha) to Phuentshopelri (Gomtu) gewog road is cut-off due to heavy landslides that washed away road formations. The GC road that connects Tendu and Bara in Samtse is also still cut-off due to landslides at three points.

Dorji Wangdi, chief engineer with DoR in Phuentsholing, said that the gewog road that connects Badina and Phusa in Chukha was also washed away completely at three major points. “The road is still totally cut-off. However, necessary work is being carried out accordingly.”

There are more than 10 gewog roads in the Phuentsholing region – which is about 180km covering Samtse and Chukha.

Gedu-Meretsemo and Sipsu-Tendu are constantly affected during monsoons.

The irrigation channel above the road could have affected the Sipsu-Tendu highway, said DoR officials. DoR has diverted the road as a temporary measure.

DoR is currently cutting a new formation to connect Ganglakha and Dungna. A landslide at Taguna blocked the connection between these villages last monsoon.

Dorji Wangdi said DoR expects to complete the new formation cutting by September end.

The Samtse-Phuentsholing highway, which was initiated in 2005, is yet to be complete with a 19km stretch towards Phuentsholing that will soon be blacktopped.

The DoR has requested at least  Nu 200M to complete the remaining work. Nu 94M has been approved.

By Rajesh Rai, Phuentsholing

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