With the recent rainfall in Samtse and the impending monsoon, villagers of Ngatse and Thangdokha under Gakidling Gewog in Haa are worried about the bridge over Amochhu at Chhuthana.

The temporary wooden bridge connects Ngatse and Thangdokha to Samtse-Haa highway.

People said the bridge could be washed away anytime and leave these villages cut off from motor road. More than 50 households in the two villages would be affected without the bridge.

Without the bridge, Tobgyel, a villager from Ngatse, said sick people faced problems in summer. “Local businesses are also affected.”

Tobgyel said the people with work at Gakidling’s gewog office had to walk for one whole day without the bridge. With the temporary bridge connecting the highway today, it just takes two to three hours of drive, he said.

Tobgyel said people were expecting the government to construct a permanent bridge at Chhuthana. Unlike the bridge over Amochhu in Denchukha, the costs would also be less, he added.

A taxi driver from Ngatse, Tshering Lobzang, said his vehicle was unable to cross the temporary bridge.

“I had a passenger who wanted to go to Ngatse,” he said. Amochhu had swollen recently due to rain. “There were other taxis as well.”

Tshering Lobzang said the river was swelling and the wooden bridge would be washed away. The issue was raised during the gewog tshogdu at Gakidling, he added.

Ngatse Tshogpa Nima Dawa said people constructed the wooden temporary bridge with the support from the Department of Roads.

Gakidling Gup Gashey said the gewog had proposed for a budget. He said the gewog could get a budget of Nu 3 million (M) for the construction of the bridge.

However, constructing a bridge over Amochhu would be costly and Nu 3M would not be sufficient.

Gashey said that most villages of Gakidling remained cut off during monsoon.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing