Nim Dorji  | Trongsa

The Northern East-West Highway widening works from Viewpoint to Trongsa will resume soon, according to Department of Roads (DoR) officials.

With the contractors, who were awarded the work, terminated for failing to execute the work, retendering works were done recently.

Officials say Hi-Tech Company was awarded the widening work from Viewpoint to Bjeezam and the contract will be signed within the next fifteen days. They also said the tendering process for the package from Bjeezam to Trongsa is under evaluation and the work will be awarded soon.

DoR officials said all the tendering processes will be completed within this month and the works will be executed early next year.

The executive engineer, Thinley Dorji, said that the contract period for package one from Viewpoint to Bjeezam is for 15 months and the package from Bjeezam to Trongsa is for 12 months.

The work from Viewpoint to Bjeezam and Bjeezam to Trongsa were taken over by DoR on June 13 and 25 respectively.

It was learnt that of the 97kms road with 14 packages of the Northern East-West highway widening work from Chuserbu to Nangar in Bumthang, works for two packages are still incomplete.

The contract works of Druk Lhayul Construction was terminated in March 6 and contract work of Raven Construction was terminated on May 28.

Thinley Dorji said the two previous contractors were terminated as they showed no progress and kept missing all the deadlines. “Several notifications were issued to surrender the work, but after their denial, a neutral body consisting of officials from DoR, dzongkhag and gewog took over the work in June this year as per the directive from the ministry”.

Meanwhile, Trongsa residents say incomplete road widening hampers commuters as the road becomes muddy during monsoon and dusty in winter.

A taxi driver, Phub Tshering, said the poor road stretch from Viewpoint to Trongsa damages the vehicles. “The vehicle parts, which would last around two years, needs to be changed within four to six months”.

The highway road widening works began in 2015 and was supposed to be completed in 2017.