One contractor executing eight works

Yangyel Lhaden

Thimphu thromde’s junction improvement works in eight locations, which was initially targeted to complete by April this year, is delayed.

Of the eight works thromde awarded to Passang Construction in April last year, only the works of junction improvement above Chundu Sawmill is complete.

While works are in the last stage of blacktopping near Café 6 and Druk School Junction, works are yet to start at swimming pool junction, Norling building above Rinchen Kuenphen Primary School, Sangay Sales at Hongkong Market, and MLCP I till Milk Booth.

The eighth work area from the flyover bridge in Changzamtok to Deki School is also incomplete.

Residents of the area, who grappled with dust in winter and storm water and muddy puddles in monsoon are happy the deep trenches are covered and the road is improved with granular sub base.

The completion of the work is not certain.

It took 20 days to trench five metre road due to underground cables

Project Director of Passang Construction, Jigme Lhendup, said they were waiting for high-density polyethylene (HDPE) to lay cable lines for Bhutan Telecom, Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC), Tashi Cell, and Safe City underground. “The road would be dug once again to lay the cables.”

He said works got delayed as the design and plan to lay underground cables and pipelines changed.

Jigme Lhendup explained that the initial project design was to construct a reinforced cement concrete (RCC) footpath with RCC duct and drain underground in front of residential buildings. “But the residents requested thromde not to construct a footpath in front of the buildings.”

He said they had stall the work for more than 20 days in July last year because of the request. “Thromde then instructed us to construct a footpath on the left side of the road and design changed to RCC hump pipes.”

He said they could procure only 13 hump pipes from Pasakha when they required at least 180 hume pipes. “So we started trying to import from India.”

He said that if project implementation was according to its initial plan, he could have completed the trench within three months, as he had enough materials stocked up according to the initial plan.

Jigme Lhendup said since the project was small development project and time bound, he was pressurised from thromde to start digging the holes along Zamdo Lam in December. “I had hume pipes enough for only 20 metres.”

He also said procuring the hume pipes was not easy, as a truck could only carry six hume pipes.

Jigme Lhendup also said digging into unplanned activities underground was a major challenge.

He said he requested thromde site engineer to seek clearance before he executed the project.

A thromde official said relevant stakeholders were not in a position to provide clearance, as they did not have alternative cable lines. “BPC could not remove poles before the underground cable duct was laid.”

She said in a junction near Rinchen Kuenphen Primary School, there was a big BPC transformer and the thromde submitted five written requests to BPC to remove the transformer. “Until a new small transformer replaces the old one, BPC cannot remove the transformer.”

Jigme Lhendup said in a place where they could dig 500m, only 30-40m could be dug, as there were many of cables and pipelines underground slowing the progress. “We took days to fix the damages.”

Edited by Tashi Dema