About 120 households from six villages of Sampheling in Chukha will benefit from the Bailey bridge over Singeychu that opened to traffic on August 7.
People living in the six villages are Pana (A, B, and C), Kothiline, Daragaon, and Khaibatar will no longer have to wade through the swollen river and remain cut off in summer.
The 70-feet Bailey bridge with a carrying capacity of 24 metric tonnes is located further down the stream from the current Singeychhu Bridge that connects the Pasakha by-pass road to Thimphu near the Pasakha industrial estate.
A villager, Budhani Rai from Pana B said that the bridge has come as a blessing. “I want to thank our King for this,” she said.
The 48-year-old said that the residents had terrible experiences crossing the swollen river during summers. “We lived in constant fear in summer, as Singeychhu swells whenever it rains.”
She said they had to rely on the temporary bamboo bridge from the border area of Manglabari by paying about Nu 5-10 to use it.
A villager from Pana A, Saili Rai, recalls the hardships people faced without the bridge. “Although we used the Singeychhu bridge on the Pasakha bypass route when it was difficult to cross the river, it was time-consuming and tiring,” she said.
She said it took about an hour and half to climb to Rangeytoong before descending to the bypass.
A Kothiline villager, Prem Bahadur Khatri, said that the bridge would benefit sick people, as they can be taken to hospital easily. “We can also attend the gewog meetings on time.”
Sampheling gup Mani Kumar Rai said that many students of Chumigthang Middle Secondary School who rented houses in Alley could attend go to school from home. “People can also transport their agriculture products.”
He said that the bridge was opened to traffic because of the summer season. The bridge construction started on November 28, 2016 at a cost of Nu 5 million.
Rajesh Rai | Pasakha