Road – widening works along the 22km Trashigang-Kanglung highway, which began a decade ago is expected to complete this month.
As of April 1, almost 12kms of the remaining 15 km stretch was blacktopped.
Trashigang and Kanglung residents shared their satisfaction with the work progress made in the last six months.
“Given the slow pace of work in the past years, we thought this road would never be blacktopped,” a shopkeeper in Kanglung said.
Although the work progress was recorded as one of the highest in the last six months, Project DANTAK has not met its deadline of March 31 this year. Despite several requests, DANTAK officials refused to talk to Kuensel on the widening works.
The representative of TNT Enterprise, an Arunachal Pradesh based contractor who was awarded the blacktopping works along the stretch, Tashi Namgay, said that the deadline was extended until April.
Blacktopping works along the 15km stretch began around December last year. “We could have completed the works by March 31 but because of bad weather we could not work for almost two weeks,” he said.
He also said that unavailability of bitumen from Phuentsholing caused delay because of series of strikes along the Assam highway in India. “By the end of the month, the full stretch will be blacktopped.”
While blacktopping works have resumed, formation-cutting works at two locations are still underway. Kuensel learnt that the two locations where the cutting works are ongoing served as quarry sites for the project.
Stones used for laying the base course and for the construction of the retaining walls are excavated from these two locations.
It was also learnt that in the last six months, some 200 additional workers were deployed along the stretch by the project. DANTAK has employed some 300 workers at the site.
Meanwhile, vehicles are observed to be travelling at high speed along the newly blacktopped road. “We had problems when the works were not progressing. Now that the road is almost ready, we seem to be having another problem of over-speeding,” a taxi driver said.
“Traffic police and RSTA need to regulate the speed along this stretch,” he said. “People do not follow proper lane, which could be dangerous for the vehicles coming from the other side.”
Younten Tshedup | Trashigang