With multiple potholes along the 24kms road in Tendruk gewog, Samtse and some stretches of the road just bare with gravels and sands, residents are unhappy.

People using the road claim that it takes more than an hour to reach Sipsu from Tendruk, which otherwise would take about 30 to 45 minutes drive because of the poor road condition.

A shop owner in Tendruk, Kishore Gurung, said that the condition of the road deteriorated right after the road was blacktopped three years ago. “Even in the town, the road conditions are not good.”

He said he had filled the potholes near his house with three Bolero loads of gravels recently.

Kishore Gurung also said people had been appealing to the roads department. “Nothing was done in the last two years.”

Meanwhile, residents also say that a four km road stretch from Tendruk towards Tashichholing, which was blacktopped two years ago is also filled with potholes.

A resident, Tenzin Namgyel, said that the road has not been repaired or blacktopped for two years now. “Since it is a feeder road, we were told that five km expanse would be blacktopped every year for five years,” he said. “But this has not happened in 2016 and 2017.”

He said that an expecting mother suffered due to the bumpy road when she was taken to Samtse hospital. “The issue also has been discussed with Tashichholing drungkhag and Tendruk gewog but nothing has come up so far.”

A tshogpa in the gewog, Tek Bahadur Gurung, said they have been told that the road would be repaired but nothing happened. “In some areas, the road has become like farm road now. We are still waiting.”

Tendruk gup Nima Drukpa said there has not been a single project to repair or upgrade the road after the three-km stretch was blacktopped. “We have been told that a budget to blacktop another six kms would be approved.”

An engineer from the roads department, EN Chettri, said that the road has not been blacktopped for the last two to three years. “Budgets were proposed but it was not approved.”

He said that a major plan to develop the entire road from Samtse to Tendruk as per the national highway standards was in the pipeline. “Due to this plan, the 24-km road has not been blacktopped.”

Rajesh Rai | Samtse