In the last three years, DoR has completed 3kms

Owing to the slow progress of work at the Sakteng gewog centre (GC) road in Trashigang, gewog residents proposed the project to be given out to private contractors.

In the recent dzongkhag tshogdu, Sakteng gup Sangay Dorji said that the progress on Sakteng GC road in the last three years has been slow.

He said that the Department of Roads (DoR) began the work on the 11.5km GC road in December 2015. “In three years, they managed to construct only 3kms. It appears DoR constructed a kilometre of road a year.”

Sangay Dorji said that private contractors completed the 38kms road from Rangjung to Thrakthi was in four years. “Ours is just about 12kms and the time taken by the department is too long making people impatient,” he said. “If the department cannot do the work, it should be given to private contractors.”

Of the 14 gewogs in Trashigang, Sakteng is the only gewog that is not connected with a gewog centre (GC) road. The nearest road point to the gewog is at Thrakthi, which is about 38kms from Rangjung.

Gup Sangay Dorji said that while they understand that conditions at the site are difficult, completing only 3kms of road in three years is concerning.

He said that the gewog has no issues against the department. “All we want is the road to be completed soon so that people don’t have to suffer.”

DoR’s chief engineer in Trashigang, Jambay Dorji, said that one of the priority works currently at the location is to construct two Bailey bridges.

He said there are two deep gorges with rocky cliff 4kms away from Thrakthi.

Jambay Dorji said that without the two bridges, access to the site beyond the 4kms would be limited. “Fuel and construction materials have to be carried on horseback.”

The department so far has finished formation-cutting work within the two bridges, which is approximately 3.8km of the total 11.5km. The two bridges will be constructed at Chubjarongchhu and Nangzorchhu.

Jambay Dorji said that the department has set a target to complete the construction of the two bridges including the formation cutting work on the remaining 7.5km until the gewog centre during the 2017-18 fiscal year.

He, however, said that challenges such as extreme weather conditions during winter and summer hinder the work progress. “We can work effectively only for about six to seven months in a year.”

The chief engineer said that pressure from public to complete the road and the remoteness of the site also hinders work progress. “It is difficult for us to convince the public that we have our own plan. Giving away the work to contractors will only take more time now.”

He said that the tendering and evaluation processes will take at least three months.

“The quality of work would still depend on the work experience of the contractor who gets the project.”

Meanwhile, about Nu 90 million (M) will be required to construct the GC road. About Nu 28M has been spent so far.

Younten Tshedup |  Trashigang