Phuentsholing’s gewog connectivity road connecting Logchina gewog has remained blocked for several days due to heavy rainfall cutting off more than three villages.
The villagers now walk to reach Phuentsholing main town for shopping. More than 10 villages of two gewogs use the road as their lifeline. Only boleros, the main utility van for villagers can ply the road. More than 40 boleros ply the road daily.
The road when cleared is washed away repeatedly at numerous places by the rains since the soils are unstable. “We are facing huge difficulties because of the road,” said Dhan Bdr Mongar, 43, from Logchina.
The road on the way to Logchina and Chomchey are also reportedly blocked at numerous sites. However, Logchina Gup, Indra Lal Ghalley said that the road in his gewog is pliable. The roads are blocked within Phuentsholing gewog toward his gewog.
While, an excavator is deployed at the site, the slide erodes the road during heavy rainfall, according to the villagers. “Travelling has become risky on this road,” said Karna Bdr. Ghalley from Chomchey. He has to take the risk while travelling with passengers in his bolero. While people use old alternative routes through a mining site, it also gets blocked during heavy rainfall. “So we have no option than to travel on foot,” said Karna Bdr Ghalley.
It’s the peak season for ginger and the farmers from these gewogs bring the cash crop to the market. But this is being impacted by the bad roads.
Meanwhile, Department of Roads (DOR) who has contracted the maintenance of road to a private contractor said that the maintenance of the road has been suspended during the monsoon. The continuous rainfall has impacted the work progress. The contractor was working on blacktopping and drainage works.
Chief Engineer of DOR, Phuentsholing, Dorji Wangdi said that the nothing can be done at present as the monsoon rain washes away the road. However, an excavator is deployed to help let the vehicles through the slides.
DOR had initially identified an old existing road to the gewog center through a mining road for which the works have been awarded to the contractor. However, people’s demand to the government asking for the shorter road has compelled the department to work on the present road through unstable soil which is causing problems. “We have learnt that the road would be not feasible from the present location. The soil is unstable and prone to landslides but the people have complained to the government and we have to open that,” said Dorji Wangdi.
Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing