Rains threaten to cut-off communities as roads gets damaged

The village communities will have to carry the essentials on their backs if the roads are washed away

SHERAB DORJI

Thimphu

Incessant rains for the past few days have communities of Mendralgang – Yangmalashing chewog under Dechhelling gewog, Pemagatshel worried as it is threatening to wash away and damage their newly-constructed road that connects their villages to the main town.

The road which stretches about three kilometres from Morabri Thangkha junction towards Mendralgang village was just completed in January this year. The new road connects the people of Mendralgang to Nganglam drungkhag.  

A villager, Tashi, said they are concerned as the untimely rainfall has already damaged portions of the road which was completed just a few months ago. He said the old road at Shonangzor, completed about five years ago, has been completely washed away at the Kharpo Borang junction.

“We are worried that the new road will be completely damaged if the rains continue. Our village will be completely cut-off and will affect our school-going children too,” Tashi said.

For the past few weeks villagers have been trying to do periodical maintenance to ensure that the main thoroughfare is not hindered. The village communities will have to carry the essentials on their backs if the roads are washed away, and most buy their goods from the Drungkhag center at Nganglam.  

They also said the village temple is under construction and that they have to constantly ferry raw materials from the road junction that connects to the main highway towards the gewog center.

To add to their woes, even government officials visiting the communities for official works have to tread through muddy footpaths which hinder timely delivery of crucial services.

Villagers say it would be helpful if the concerned officials build proper drains and walls along vulnerable sections of the road before a major damage is incurred. 

The gup of Dechhenling gewog, Jimba Phuntsho, said they are aware of the challenges faced by the people of Mendralgang, and that proper remedial measure like constructing walls and drains will be carried out at the earliest.

Jimba said that paperworks and other nuances for the said purpose has already been tendered and completed, and that developmental works will start soon.

“We have also deputed bull dozers and other machineries in Mendrelgang and Yangmalazhing chiwogs so that repair works are not hindered. However, there are several other chiwogs which still don’t have proper machineries,” gup Jimba said.

Jimba added that though they have already allocated budget for road maintenance, the problems become graver especially during the monsoon seasons as most of the settlements in Nganglam drungkhag and surrounding villages receive heavy rainfall, and hence required huge maintenance budget.

He also said that there were instances where residents were not willing to pool their lands for developmental works along the roads. Villagers even asked for land compensation if we try to expand the road which becomes a huge challenge for carrying out periodical developmental and maintenance works.

Meanwhile, the gewog has allotted about Nu 0.8 million to be used for the development of walls and side drains along the road.