Neten Dorji | Trashiyangtse

Tsherzam bridge in Bumdeling, Trashiyangtse falling off one piece at a time.

Residents who live nearby said most of the planks on the bridge’s floor have come apart and there are cracks on the wall of the bridge.

Bumdeling residents and commuters who use Tsherzam bridge are worried about their safety.

A resident, Choki Dorji said hundreds of commuters cross the bridge every day. “It is not just the people of Bumdeling gewog. People use it to ferry construction materials too.”

He said that the condition of the bridge worsened mainly due to heavy vehicles. “Usually heavy vehicles carrying construction materials such as cement, sand, boulders, and iron rod damage the bridge. Every day at least 20 trucks cross the bridge.”

It was learnt that before gewog centre road was handed over to dzongkhag, the Department of Roads (DoR) fixed the holes in the floor with planks.

A taxi driver, Tashi Namgyel said that although minor maintenance was carried out for a few years, the condition of the bridge never improved.

He said exposed nails and planks not fixed properly on the bridge make travel difficult for commuters.

A civil servant said that villagers, in general, do not take responsibility to fix or help repair. “They expect everything to be done by the government. Contractors who use the bridge can fix the problem.”

Bumpala, 70, said that the bridge got damaged in the recent few years.  “There are holes in the bridges. It poses a risk to the commuters during the night.”

He uses the bridge every day to go and circumambulate Choeten Kora in Yangtse town.

A driver said some parts of the bridge are old and vulnerable. “Unlike other dzongkhags, a remote dzongkhag like our’s does not seem to get equal attention.”

An officiating dzongkhag engineer, Rinchen Leydra said that the dzongkhag administration is aware of it.  “Soon dzongkhag is going to renovate the bridge. We asked Nature Resource Development Corporation Limited for hardwood and planned to replace the existing plank.”

He said after the renovation is done, the dzongkhag is going to hand over the bridge to gewog administration along with the roads as per the government’s order.

Meanwhile, residents said that the road needs to repair as well.  “The road started going bad and riddled with potholes now. The maintenance of GC road is another concern,” said a resident.