It is only a matter of time before a newly blacktopped road is dug up to either repair a leaking pipe, or replace electrical cables, among other reasons. Sometimes the dug up part is blacktopped again, but often the work is of poor quality and the patch up work disintegrates or sinks.
This is indicative that there is a lack of coordination between our agencies. Agencies may be working in silos, in this case, one blacktops without knowing that the other is planning to lay electrical cables in the next few months which would require digging up the road again.
It is a shame that while so many agencies attribute budget constraints for their lack of action that such wasteful habits can occur.
It also raises the question of why modern solutions are not being adopted and implemented by the agencies. Our engineers and planners have been to other countries, some for years for further studies, and are well exposed to modern techniques.
Even an observer with no engineering background would be able to see that digging permanent routes or ducts across and under the roads, through which all cables and pipes can pass, may be a solution.
The thromde has invested much in improving the condition of our roads and other infrastructure in preparation for the 60th Birth Anniversary celebrations. We want such improvements to last long.
Investing in such ducts would be one way of keeping our roads in good condition.
Investing in a system and people that improves coordination among agencies, and planning within agencies, would be a small price to pay for long run efficient spending.
It is also questionable how it is decided which roads should be blacktopped in Thimphu city.
Norzin lam which was in comparatively better condition received a new layer of black top in recent months when other vital roads in the city are pockmarked with potholes, like craters on the moon. We’re also aware that Norzin lam is not open to heavy vehicle traffic and will eventually be closed to vehicle traffic altogether.
It may make more sense to improve the side roads that inter connect the main arteries so that traffic is encouraged to flow away from the main roads.
The number of vehicles plying on our roads are growing and will continue to do so. It is obvious that our road infrastructure hasn’t kept up and is struggling to do so. It is high time that the planning and building of roads in Thimphu city becomes a highly professional affair, not only so that we can have smoother rides, but because our taxes need to be utilized more efficiently.