During the works and human settlement minister’s recent visit

Visit: Improvement of roads in the town, installation of speed breakers and construction of a road between Samdrupcholing and Jomotsangkha dungkhags were some of the issues raised during the works and human settlement minister’s recent visit to Samdrupcholing town.

A resident said that they raised the issue of improving the road condition near Phuntshothang middle secondary school six years ago but in vain.

The bad road condition, according to residents, was an issue during summers and winters as well. “It’s just a small stretch but the amount of hassle it creates is an issue,” the resident said. “During summers, the large potholes disrupts traffic and in winters, dust pollution affects residents and school children.”

The business community also requested the government to look into the possibility of legalising import of goods from the border town near Samrang gewog, about 24km from the dungkhag.

There are about 200 shopkeepers in the dungkhag.

Residents said that with the coming up of the state mining enterprise, movement of trucks has also increased in the town while most drivers drive recklessly.

“As most houses are located next to the road, speeding vehicles have become a nuisance and a few minor accidents have already occurred,” a resident said. In view of such issues, residents requested for construction of speed breakers in the town, if feasible.

Residents also expressed the need for a fuel depot that was also raised during every gewog or dzongkhag tshogdu. Currently residents travel to Samdrupjongkhar to fuel their vehicles and refill Liquid Petroleum Gas cylinders.

One of the residents also questioned the possibility of establishing a vocational training institute (VTI) as pledged by the government but that there was no news or information on it so far.

Responding to the people, Lyonpo Dorji Choden said they would have to consider  security issues for the road from Samrang.

With regard to the fuel depot, Lyonpo said the dungkhag is yet to identify the location. “The dungkhag will also make sure the road near the school will be renovated this year as informed,” Lyonpo said. “It’s important that any road near a school is maintained well especially for the benefit of students.”

The minister also asked the road officials to immediately look into the matter and wherever necessary to construct speed breakers including safety signs in the town.

The minister urged residents not to construct houses close to the road in future.

Jomotsangkha-Martshala constituency Member of Parliament Pelzang Wangchuk informed that the feasibility to establish a VTI is still being looked into.

Meanwhile, the minister also informed residents that the government is looking into establishing a Bhutanese Consulate office in Guwahati, Assam in India. The proposal has already been submitted to the Indian government.

Yangchen C Rinzin |  Samdrupcholing