With about five rivers between Lauri and Serthi gewogs and Jomotsangkha drungkhag, residents of the two gewogs say that permanent bridges over the rivers would ease their life in summer.

Residents say the roads remain blocked every summer because the rivers swell, posing risk to commuters.

Serthi gup Pema Chophel said there is a need for about five bridges between Serthi and the drungkhag. The residents have been requesting for bridges so that the road remains pliable throughout the year.

He said the road Department of Roads (DoR) constructed the road and people hope it would also construct the bridges.

He said the biggest river is the Akhuri and every summer, the river swells, cutting off the gewog from the drungkhag for days. “We need a bigger bridge there.”

The gup said the ongoing Bailey construction over Jisamri is expected to help residents.

Lauri mangmi Tenzin Norzang said he travels to Jomotshangkha at least three or four times a week for birth registrations and to seek timber permission since there is no Internet service at the gewog community centre. Jomotsangkha is 69kms away from Lauri gewog centre. “The swollen river hampers our service to the people.”

A villager, Tshewang, 28, said his Bolero gets struck in the middle of the swollen river, making it difficult to ply in summer.

Chief engineer with DoR, Jigme Choidup, said three bridges are being constructed at Jisamri, Woongthiri and Kalbatri. “Two are concrete bridges.”

He said the government of India funded Nu 29 million for the construction of the ongoing bridges.

The chief engineer said the abutment construction of the Bailey bridge over Jisamri is completed and they are waiting for the other bridge parts. “There is no budget to construct a bridge over Akhuri as of now. We are planning to construct next year.”

Kelzang Wangchuk | Serthi