Road: Black topping of the Bumdeling gewog centre (GC) road in Trashiyangtse was expected to begin soon.

But despite the Department of Roads (DoR) floating the tender thrice, the contract is yet to be awarded.

DoR’s assistant engineer from the Duksum sub division, Chenga Dorji said the first tender was floated in June this year and two contractors submitted bids. One of the bidders qualified for the work but an issue with the bid security disqualified the bidder.

The second tender was called in August and only one contractor submitted a bid. The bidder was again disqualified because the technical requirements of the contract could not be met. No contractors participated in the third tender floated on September 9.

“Now, we will call for limited tender among a few contractors who have worked with DoR in the past and have maintained good reputations of their work performance,” Chenga said.   The limited tender will be called within this month.

He said many contractors are reluctant to bid and take up the job because the area is marshy and damp. Raw materials would also not be easily available in the area as it falls within the Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary.

DoR with the Natural Resource Development Corporation Ltd (NRDCL) is in the process of felling tress along the gewog centre road.

The assistant engineer said thick vegetation along the road restricted sunlight from reaching the road surface at some points on this stretch. The trees are being cleared so that the road will be durable even after it is blacktopped.

DoR is also planning to widen the width of the road as heavy rain on the night of September 27 washed away the base of the road at two points.

Chenga Dorji said vehicles can still pass through but the narrow road width at some points makes it dangerous for drivers. “We need to widen it before blacktopping work begins,” he said.

The tender for blacktopping the Bumdeling gewog centre road was floated along with tenders for the Yallang and Jamkhar gewog centre roads. The works in Yallang and Jamkhar have already started. Of the eight gewogs in the dzongkhag, Bumdeling and Tongmijangsa are the only two left for which blacktopping has not yet begun.

The gewog centre roads, at this time of the year turn muddy during monsoon making it difficult for light vehicles with lower clearance to pass through.

Nima Wangdi | T/Yangtse