Phub Dem

Filled with potholes and steep slopes, the Sangbaykha gewog connectivity (GC) road in Haa urgently needs repair.

The 16 km GC road was laid in Sangbaykha sometime in 2016. 

It takes almost an hour to reach the gewog centre from Khamina, as the road is steep with some sharp turns. 

The road conditions have been worsening. There is no sign of blacktopping or even the base course in some stretches.

Residents of Sangbay Ama are not happy with the conditions of the GC road. Poor maintenance means the road is very muddy in the rain, making it difficult for vehicles to drive through.

A resident, Sonam, who frequently travels between Haa and Sangbaykha, said the road is in poor condition and it becomes “horrible” during the monsoon season. He said it is difficult to drop children off at schools. 

“Over the last five years, there has been minimal maintenance,” he said.

Tshering Wangdi from Sangbay Ama recalls how excited the whole gewog was with the opening of the road. He said that the locals did everything to support the project, as they knew it could open their village to development.

However, he said that it is expensive for those who do not own a Bolero to ply on the road.

He added that the locals informed the Department of Roads about the steep road conditions during the construction of the GC road. The officials, he said, assured the locals that it would be redone during the second cutting, which never happened. 

Some blame the poor quality of blacktopping.

A regular commuter said that the blacktopping was thin and quickly washed away during the monsoon. 

Locals said that Bebji-Mochu, Nakha, and Shaba-Shebji were in similar situations.

According to Sangbaykha gup, Thinley, there is no plan to maintain the road, as it was handed over to the gewog.

Edited by Jigme Wangchuk