Highway: The Samdrupjongkhar-Trashigang highway widening works would be completed by 2017, according to project DANTAK officials.

Chief Engineer Brigadier Panchanathan said that most of the widening works along the 180 km stretch is complete while blacktopping would begin once the monsoon ends.

Brigadier Panchanathan said except for some areas in  Rongthong towards Trashigang until Pam, formation cutting works along the highway are either complete or in full swing. “We should be able to start blacktopping on the widened stretches from September 15,” he said.

Brigadier Panchanathan also said that they are now left with about 25km of the highway between Wamrong and Tselingkor where widening works would begin only upon completion of works along other stretches.

This 25 km stretch falls along the 75-100km segment from Samdrupjongkhar towards Trashigang.  After blacktopping is done on either side of Wamrong, DANTAK officials said works  would begin on the 25km stretch.

“Otherwise, there would be too much work being carried out along the highway that would hamper travellers,” Brigadier Panchanathan said.

Assistant Engineer Pratap Singh who is in charge of the 55-65 km segment at Narphung until 128-143km segment in Kanglung, said formation cutting works have started in all the segments under his jurisdiction.

Recently, the cutting works along the 65-75km segment, which is about 2Km beyond Tselingkor also started. Cutting works for the ongoing 100-114km segment is expected to be completed by March next year.

“We finished blacktopping  6Km of the 114-128km segment and works on the 128-143km segment from Khaling to Kanglung is almost done,” Pratap Singh said.

With the formation cutting from Kanglung until Rongthong complete, it is now ongoing in certain areas of Rongthong.

Once complete, the new highway will have the specifications of a primary highway. The width is being widened from the existing six meters to 10 meters.

Meanwhile, the construction of two PSC box girder bridges, one at Rongthong and the other at Bamridrang along the Kanglung-Trashigang stretch is progressing well.

While the construction of the Rongthong bridge is complete, works on the Bamridrang bridge would resume once the rainfall subsides. The construction materials have been moved to the site.

Officer Commanding of RCC 64 at Kanglung, Kumar Jayant said two abutments of the Bamridrang Bridge were already constructed and that they are left with the deck slab works.

“We are waiting for the river level to reside before we begin concreting the river bed. We are hopeful that we will be able to complete the construction by March next year,” he said.

By Tshering Wangdi,  Trashigang