Samtse-Sipsu road opens to traffic

Connectivity: The Department of Roads (DoR) was able to open the Samtse-Sipsu highway to traffic on July 31.

DoR workers, army personnel, and volunteers created a new route below the Buduney bridge that collapsed because of heavy rainfall recently.

DoR officials said that there was a change in the plan at the last moment on the evening of July 30. Although restoration works were ongoing at that time, officials had to suspend the work because the pier over which they were trying to raise the bridge was weak and unstable.

“That is when we had to change the plan,” DoR executive engineer EN Sharma in Phuentsholing said. “So we built a temporary road.”

At around 7pm on July 31, DoR officials and workers, army personnel, and officials from Samtse were able to open the road to traffic.

As the Buduney bridge was still intact in the area under which the main river flows, a temporary route was made and connected to that particular area. The area from where the water had flooded and affected the bridge was diverted using hume pipes.

Meanwhile, DoR officials also explained that coming up with the temporary route was the best option with least risk currently.

Army personnel and the public of Samtse have been instrumental in completing the task and opening the highway for traffic. More than 200 people have been involved in restoration and other works since some sections of the Buduney bridge collapsed.

The current alternative route is a temporary measure and DoR will reconstruct the bridge and also carry out the river protection work.

Without the connectivity, about nine gewog’s had been cut off from Samtse.

People had to use the Indian highway through Nagakatta to reach the Jitti border and get down at Sipsu.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

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