With numerous potholes along the one-kilometre (km) stretch of the Pasakha road between Baunijhora and Bhalujhora streams, officials of the association of Bhutanese industries’ (ABI) say it is time the road is maintained.

The road becomes dusty and polluted in winter and rainwater fills the potholes in summer, posing risk for the vehicles plying on it.

Programme officer with the ABI, Pema Namgyel Ghaley, said that the state of the road is getting worse every day.

He said that the numerous potholes along the way and the worsening road condition has caused difficulty for the transporters to export and import raw materials and goods in and out of Pasakha industrial estate.

He said that the road condition has become an additional cost for maintenance of vehicles.

Pema Namgyel Ghaley also said private passengers and industrial employees plying on the road are complaining of the road condition.

He claimed that ABI has also written to the relevant agencies but nothing has been done.

However, the road maintenance is likely to take some time, as although the stretch of the road falls under the Department of Roads (DoR), it was taken under a major South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2015.

The project is supposed to maintain the 1.1km along the existing road at Allay in Pasakha. Two bridges in Baunijhora and Bhalujhora are also part of this mega project.

However, the joint venture construction companies were terminated when they did not meet the target. The project that was supposed to complete in August this year has not resumed since.

DoR’s chief engineer in Phuentsholing, Dorji Wangdi, said that the evaluation works for the SASEC has been completed. “We are on the verge of awarding the contract again,” he said.

Meanwhile, the road portions where the National Housing and Development Corporation Limited is constructing the government’s affordable houses to curb the housing shortage in Phuentsholing has also deteriorated. The road is filled with mud due to the improper drainage system.

Dorji Wangdi said that the DoR and NHDCL are in constant touch and they will thrash out the issues among the concerned agencies.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing