Kelzang Wangchuk  | Martshala

Remote Kakani- Chodung chiwog in Martshala, Samdrupjongkhar is connected with a farm road. The chiwog grows potato among others  and needed the road. It was built last year.

However, without a bridge over the Ritshangri river that separates the chiwog from Martshala, people in the chiwog cannot make use of the farm road most of the time. Villagers resorted to building a makeshift bridge to transport their potatoes, but it got damaged or washed away in summer.

If a bridge is built over the river, the chiwog could be connected to Samdrupchoeling drungkhag via Martshala and also to Wangphu and Gomdar gewogs.

Villagers said that the river is a menace in summer. “It swells unpredictably in summer even when there is no rain in the plains,” said a villager, Kelzang Jamtsho.

He said they still have to carry patients to the other side of the river during emergencies besides the village having a road. “The ambulance cannot cross the makeshift bridge as it becomes slippery in summer.”

A driver, Kinley, said there was no point building road without a bridge. The temporary bridge is not strong enough for heavy vehicles.

Kakani- Chodung chiwog tshogpa, Samten Wangchuk, said although the chiwog is in dire need of a bridge, the gewog administration has no plans in the current fiscal year for a bridge. “Constructing a bridge requires huge budget.”

However, he said the gewog administration had proposed for Nu 5M through the common minimal infrastructure (CMI) for a bridge in the 2020-21 fiscal year.

“We are hoping the government will approve the CMI fund soon,” he said. A survey for a bridge was also completed, according to the tshogpa.