A decade of potholes and pains

Road leading to Gepjakha, Serbithang risky due to potholes and unstable -stone slab

Unattended live electrical wires, potholes and manholes pose threat to residents in Serbithang

KARMA CHIMI
Thimphu

Ever since Gepjakha in Serbithang near Thimphu tech Park fell under the jurisdiction of the Thromde in 2012, all necessary infrastructure and services has been provided. However, locals say the quality of work and development process has been irritably inconsistent.

They worry over the electrocution of pedestrians who uses the 50-metre road as it has live electric wires that run underneath the unstable stone slabs and the road.

Adding to the woes, there is a big manhole beside the road which has been left open in this vicinity. Residents say that there are chances of unaware pedestrians falling into it.

“Beside the road, the drain along the 50-metre road is narrow and does not serve its purpose during rainy season, and people in the locality is in dire need of a wider drain along this particular road,” Tshering Dorji, a local resident, said.

Meanwhile, officials from Thimphu thromde said the current manhole near the road will be covered with a slab; the road will be resurfaced and the drainage system will also be improved.

The community has also complained to the former Thimphu thrompon about the road condition where he has promised and approved the budget for the maintenance of road. However, the works have been halted due to the pandemic.

Thimphu thromde has also received complaints from the locals residing in Gepjakha on the condition of the road following which they allocated a budget for resurfacing the roads in the fiscal year 2021-2022.

Officials said the works has already been tendered to a contractor for duration of six months and that works have already begun.

The residents of the area even shared that last year a lorry damaged the road and created a huge pothole in this particular road which has aggravated the problem.

For around a decade, about 18 households in the vicinity are being affected by this poor maintenance of road and the lurking danger that it poses to children and pedestrians.

46-year-old Dorji said, “As the road condition is bad and the gradient steep, it is very difficult to drive along the stretch. Moreover, the problem has been persisting for ages despite the residents making a desperate plea to Thromde officials.”

He further added that the road in this area is becomes risky during the monsoon season as the road gets muddy and flooded with rain water whereby, people resort to parking their car way below their homes and walk to avert the dangers .

The locals are also of the view that the road was never been maintained by the concerned authorities and that the locals in the community have tried to do periodical maintenance on their own.

Kinley Tenzin who resides near the area said, “The blame game of pointing different organization for maintenance have resulted in making appointments to different departments regarding the road and the drain which is time consuming.”

As for the street light beside the road, the community says that it was installed last year for which they are grateful.