Road construction quality in question

Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

Residents in Mongar are questioning the quality of construction after a retaining wall collapsed three months after construction.

The retaining wall was constructed below the Road Safety and Transport Authority office in Mongar three months ago when the base of the Mongar-Bumthang highway was washed away because of internal road widening work.

But the wall collapsed causing traffic diversion via Trailing-Jarungkhashor road.

Alleging that the wall lasted for about only three months, residents blame the dzongkhag for not properly monitoring and the contractor for not executing the work properly.

Residents said that the road via Trailing-Jarungkhashor is small, steep and difficult for heavy vehicles to ply through. Recently, a truck carrying load slipped off. Another light vehicle fell into the drain.

The contractor has widened the road and even base coursed it, but vehicles cannot ply through.

A trucker, Wangchuk, said a 10-wheeler truck carrying an excavator escaped near accident and the machine had to be unloaded.

Collapsed retaining wall

According to a resident, Sonam, the quality of work should have been well monitored by both the dzongkhag site engineer and the construction company’s site engineer to avoid such lapses.

He said the contractors block the road and don’t do anything. “It’s a national highway. Hundreds of vehicles ply through it. It should have been closed once the materials and manpower are in place.”

Residents claimed that the actual construction work of about 30m long wall with a height of more than 6m just took about three weeks to complete.

According to technical experts, more than two weeks is required for the height of 1.5 meter tall concrete structure of cement mixture to get set.

It was learnt that the handing-taking of the wall is not yet done.

Dzongkhag human settlement sector officials, who are in charge of the work, refused to comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Local Area Plan (LAP) development of Trailing and Jarungkhashor areas and widening including the wall construction and blacktopping the road to Kadam Goenpa is awarded to ISSUP construction.

While the initial deadline for LAP development expired in November, the contract work deadline has been extended until the end of February next year.