Work continues to reestablish Thimphu-P’ling highway

Connectivity: Close to a hundred vehicles were stranded yesterday at Kamji where a portion of the highway was washed away.

This is the fourth day since a 100-foot stretch of the road was washed away due to heavy rainfall.

Work is underway to construct a 160-foot bailey bridge at the site.

Department of Roads (DoR) officials in Phuentsholing said that most of the materials for the construction have been transported to the site, and more will reach there today.

A DANTAK official said that rain is a major challenge.

While it did not rain much in Phuentsholing as compared to previous days, it was still raining in Kamji and beyond towards Thimphu.

“We cannot give an exact time frame when the bridge will be completed,” said the DANTAK official, adding that everything was being done to complete it at the earliest.

Armed forces personnel, Desuups, government officials, and volunteers form human chains to help people cross the swollen Setikharey stream

Armed forces personnel, Desuups, government officials, and volunteers form human chains to help people cross the swollen Setikharey stream

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay also visited the affected area in Kamji and Sorchen yesterday.

While there was no vehicle movement from Phuentsholing towards Thimphu, vehicles were still moving down from Thimphu.

Many vehicles were also stranded for about five hours at a point at Wangkha due to a landslide yesterday. The block was cleared at around 7pm following which they were allowed to pass towards Phuentsholing.

Meanwhile, the levels of both the Amochhu and Omchhu decreased yesterday and mitigation works continued unhampered.

Lhamoizingkha

The dungkhag has been cut off for more than a week now following the swelling of the seasonal Kalikhola river. Even vehicles have not been able to cross the river which is completely dry during the winter.

However, dungkhag officials confirmed that electricity and B-mobile connectivity has improved.

Lhamoizingkha residents said that it has been 10 days since road connectivity was lost.

One shopkeeper, CB Gurung, said that stocks in all shops have decreased. “People are finding it difficult to get vegetables,” he said.

Lhamoizingkha residents buy vegetables from small Indian hamlets such as Hauda and Kulkuley that are located across the Kalikhola river.

Residents also said they are now getting electricity from a generator. The dungkhag had no electricity supply for a number of days.

Gelephu

While there was less rain in Gelephu yesterday, the Setikharey stream is yet to subside.

Four more houses and a shop were evacuated yesterday after the Setikharey stream flooded further into settlements of Perlithang village in Gelephu gewog. A total of 39 houses have now been evacuated.

Core town residents have been facing acute drinking water shortage since July 21. The water treatment plant supplying water to 80 percent of Gelephu town’s residents remains partially submerged in floodwater.

Gelephu also remains cut off from the rest of the dzongkhags. The only link remaining is to a border town in Assam as road portions have been washed away on the Gelephu-Zhemgang and Gelephu-Tsirang highways.

Rajesh Rai, Phuentsholing & Nirmala Pokhrel, Gelephu

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