Dechen Dolkar

On March 11, at approximately 11 am, a big rock hit and swept away a two-story house situated in Gomchhu village in Narang, Mongar.

The house belonged to a couple with three sons.

The incident happened while building a 1.2-kilometre farm road in the village, connecting Rantang to Yangzor. Yangzor village has five households.

Tashi Yangzom, a 36-year-old woman, and her husband were outside their house when the boulder struck.

They, along with one of their neighbours, had just returned from collecting dried leaves in the forest and were resting below their house when they noticed boulders rolling down.

Fortunately, no one was inside the house.

“My three sons were at school,” Tashi Yangzom said.

She said that she immediately contacted the machine operator but the operator denied any involvement.

She said that they could not salvage any belongings.

The Narang Gup, Dechen Zangmo, said that the boulder fell from a distance of two kilometers from the farm road to the house.

The gup said that the construction of the farm road, funded by the gewog grant, aimed to alleviate the challenges faced by the five households in Yangzor.

The gup also mentioned that initially, there were three potential routes for the farm road: one passing below the affected house and two above it.

However, the selected route was positioned two kilometers above the affected house to avoid any impact on drinking water sources and irrigation channels.

The gup claimed that the boulder was dislodged by the operator while removing smaller boulders.

The gup said that the house was not insured because it was not registered for gung, but the contractor’s machinery was insured. Officials from the insurance office visited the site for verification to process the insurance claim.

Efforts have been made to compensate the victim, the gup said, with the contractor agreeing to cover the damages. Currently, the contractor is not present at the site.

Tashi Yangzom said that a month earlier, the boulder had also swept away their temporary shed, which housed their maize-milling machine.

The gup mentioned that the contractor had agreed to compensate for the mill, valued at Nu 15,000, and provided funds for timber to rebuild after the completion of the farm road.

The contractor said that he must investigate the incident, and if it is determined that the damage was caused by the farm road construction, he would compensate accordingly.

He is planning to visit the site soon for assessment.

Currently, the Gewog office and community have constructed a temporary house for the affected couple.