Blacktopping of the 8.6km Bajo-Khuruthang road has begun. However, its completion has been extended by two months, according to Department of Roads (DoR) officials. 

Blacktopping has begun from Wangdue’s Sunday market area which falls under the contract package one. The widening and blacktopping work were executed in two packages. 

According to the Lobesa DoR regional office Chief Engineer Karma Tenzin, blacktopping work for package two would begin after package one completes. 

He said that the contractors have been asked to procure the hume pipes, which are used for sewerage, drainage, culverts, and irrigation water supply. There are 47 locations that need hume pipes along the 8.6km secondary national highway. 

“Because of the pandemic, they wouldn’t meet the deadline. We’ve given them two more months,” Karma Tenzin said. 

Initially, package one of the project was expected to be complete by July 31 and package two by June 30 this year. Now the works are expected to complete by the end of September. 

The Bajo-Khuru road is shorter by around 10km than the highway passing through Lobesa in Punakha. 

Meanwhile, with blacktopping work starting along the stretch, farmers in Thangoo chiwog on May 17 complained of excessive air pollution. 

From Thangoo, Gyeltshen said that the pollution from the asphalt mixture plant (bitumen mixture) was so heavy that it reached the homes of the villagers. “On May 17, the Thangoo area was cloudy with dust and the air smelled of burning rubber.” 

Wangdue’s environment officer Rinchen Penjor said that the contractor has been instructed to take measures and the issue has been resolved.

Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue   

Edited by Tshering Palden