Chhimi Dema

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed yesterday between Project DANTAK and Green Bhutan Corporation Limited to reduce landslides along the Damchu-Chukha bypass through slope stabilisation.

Green Bhutan Corporation Limited (GBCL) will carry out the slope stabilisation work covering a total of 22.07 acres.

GBCL is a state-owned enterprise executing afforestation and reforestation activities in the country.

GBCL’s chief executive officer, Damber Singh Rai, said that the pilot project adopts bioengineering techniques and a vegetative approach on the slopes to reduce landslides.

The bioengineering slope stabilisation approach will consist of planting Vetiver grass, broom grass, local grass cutting and bamboo on slopes to reduce or control soil erosion.

The upstream drainage will be connected to drains and the marshy areas will be dried by inserting high-density polythene pipe underground allowing groundwater to flow in the drains. The corporation will construct drains and boulder barriers, and remove landslide debris from landslide-prone areas.

Damber Singh said that this approach is “cheaper, natural, and environment friendly.”

GBCL will employ 30 de-suups from the De-suung Skilling Programme for the project.

Brigadier Jaswinder Singh, DANTAK’s chief engineer, said that the slope stabilisation activity would stop the mud flow on the slopes during monsoon making the road safe for commuters.  He said: “If the project becomes successful, it will pave way for more arrangements in future.”

The project worth Nu 10.2 million is expected to complete by July 31, 2023.