Seven highways and about 22 gewog centre roads remain closed due to landslides and swollen river since August 8.
Department of Roads (DOR) said that the western region has road blocks at the Manitar-Raidak-Lhamoizinkha road end Karbandi-Pasakha-Manitar road. The road has been blocked since August 9.
Executive engineer with DoR, Neten Tshering, said that the block at Manitar-Raidak-Lhamoizinkha road would take about five days to clear. “We already have excavators, backhoe and pay loader deployed at the area.”
The road to Gase has been blocked at Baychu and Dompangchu since August 10. Engineer Ugyen Dorji said that the culvert pipe of the road has been washed off. “The reconstruction work has started. The road will be available as the work completes” he added.
DoR said that in the central region the road from Gelephu to Tingtibi, Trongsa to Zhemgang and Panbang to Nganglam has been blocked due to landslides.
DoR’s Chief Engineer at Trongsa, Taugay Choeda, said that machines have been deployed in the area and the clearing work is underway.
In the eastern region, the Gyelposhing-Nganglam and Tshelingkhor-Pemagatshel roads are blocked at several areas due to landslides. The Trashigang-Samdrupjongkhar highway has eight roadblocks due to landslides and falling boulders. DoR official said that the machines have been deployed and the road is likely to open today.
Engineer Dhan Raj Chhettri said that in Sarpang the roads at Umling, Tareythang and Singye gewogs have been closed to traffic due to swollen rivers. “There are no bridges in these areas, so we will have to wait for the rain to stop for the roads to be available,” he said.
Going by the National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology’s record, Sarpang received the highest amount of rainfall, followed by Deothang in Samdrupjongkhar and Pemagatshel in the last few days.
Engineer Pema said that in Pemagatshel there are several blocks in seven gewogs. “The clearing is in progress but if it continues to rain, clearing could take time. The roads have been blocked since August 9 and 10 due to landslide,” he added.
Neten Tshering said that road clearing at the blocks at Dungna, Getana, and Logchina gewogs in Chukha has started. “If the rain stops, it will be possible to clear it within two days,” he added.
DoR officials said that Samdrupjongkhar road has five blocks at Orong, Gomdar and Lauri gewogs. The road is expected to be cleared today.
Roads in Kurtoe in Lhuntse, Narang in Mongar, Udzorong and Kanglung gewog in Trashigang and Ramjar in Trashiyangtse dzongkhag have also been blocked at several areas.
DoR’s Chief Engineer at Trongsa, Taugay Choeda, said that the DoR has deployed machines to clear the blocks. “We have instructed the contractors to work on the maintenance of the road instead of the road widening for now because we want to make the road available,” he said.
Meanwhile, a landslide washed way an excavator operator and his helper at Moshi in Trashigang yesterday morning.
According to sources, the two non-Bhutanese aged 27 and 45, were clearing the roadblock caused by heavy rain on the night of August 10 in the area when the landslide occurred.
A source said the GREF officials, police and volunteers are searching for the operator and helper.