After years of hold-up, widening project along the Doksum-Yangtse highway has began in June this year. But the project has been causing inconveniences both for the commuters and the contractors. As the road remains blocked most of the time, service delivery is being affected, say dzongkhag officials.

An official who did not wish to be named said that since six of the eight gewog are located south of the Yangtse town, travelling to the gewogs was difficult.

It was learned that during the primary round of the general elections, poling officials and others refused take their vehicles due to bad road. “We had to hire boleros with the help of RSTA to send the officials to the polling stations,” the official said.

A resident of Yangtse, Chencho Tshering, said that at certain section of the road it was almost impossible for small vehicles to pass. “Mud slush from waterfalls make it difficult for us to drive. Summer is the worst,” he said.

A businessman said that there were areas where the cliff was freshly excavated and the road below filled with debris. “Getting stuck in such places is a nightmare. And there are boulders hanging dangerously from above.”

Department of Roads (DoR) is implementing the project with financial support from the Kholongchu Hydro Energy Limited (KHEL).

DoR officials said that although work was being carried as per the schedule, there were inconveniences to consider. “People come with several emergency excuses and we have to let them pass, stopping our work,” said an official. “That hampers our work.”

Traffic along the highway is on the rise due to election activities. “We started our work late this morning since there were vehicles going to attend meetings,” said the official.

The widening work, which began on June 6, is expected to bed completed by April next year. The widening work along the 8.66km road is being carried out in three phases from Koncholling to Buyang.

It was learned that KHEL has released Nu 80 million (M) for the widening of the stretch along with Nu 90M for the construction of three bridges in the area.  The department has outsourced the widening of 6.82km road to two contractors starting from km 8 till km 14.82. The department would clear the rest 1.8km.

Officials said that almost 5km of the 8.66km widening work was been completed.

It was also learned that the DoR had estimated about Nu 872 M for the 44km widening works from Chazam to Trashiyangtse of which about Nu 415M would have to come from KHEL.

DoR has already started the widening work along the 14km stretch from Chazam to Doksum.

Younten Tshedup | Trashiyangtse