The blacktopping work on gewog connectivity (GC) road from Tendruk to Norgaygang (Bara) gewog in Samtse is behind schedule by almost around two years, despite the work being scheduled for completion in April 2016.
The 19-km GC road blacktopping started in 2016. A private construction company, Somson Company Private Limited, is still working on the Nu 30mn worth road and is supposed to take another 10 months for completion.
Norgaygang Gup Rinchen Dorji said the works are still going on, but the contractor has missed the deadline. He added that while inquiring the contractor had said that the work had been delayed due to the unavailability of bitumen which is used in blacktopping.
“I wonder how it happens. But we are hoping he will complete his work soon,” he said.
The Gup said that the gewog administration had also written to the higher authorities about the missed deadline last year. He added that they are worried about the quality of work the company will do during the summer in the midst of heavy downpour when the work progress is likely to be hampered.
“When they work during the rain, the quality of the work will be undermined,” he said. The Gup also said that the Department of Roads needs to assess the situation and take action.
Meanwhile, the road which connects the gewogs was constructed in 2012.
The Gup said around five kilometers of the road was blacktopped then by the previous construction company in 2015. But blacktopping of five-kilometer road from Tendruk to Phita Tar remained unsatisfactory, according to the Gup.
“I have raised the issue in the Dzongkhag Yargye Tshogdu meeting, but nothing concrete happened,” he said.
Meanwhile, the contractor and the clients could not be contacted for interview.
Despite the pending blacktopping works, people of Norgaygang are still reaping the benefits of the unpaved feeder road, which has helped them to connect with the rest of other places in Samtse. The people of Norgaygang gewog earlier used to take days to reach Bindu Bazaar, a border town in India for necessary shopping. Instead they used to visit Rangeli Bazaar in Sikkim for shopping with horses.
Kharka Bdr Gurung, 71, from Norgaygang, said the villagers took only a few hours to reach there and could return the same day. He said that visiting Sikkim used to be easier for them rather than going to Tendruk or Samtse.
“We used to go and return within a day from there than visiting Samtse. But we are now happy that Bara is connected with a road at least,” he said.
Meanwhile, the gewog has also got farm roads starting from the previous year. Around 75km of farm roads have been constructed in the gewogs. Still four villages are yet to be connected with roads – Gyampang, Satshamo, Kongkha and Tshachhu.
The Gup said the roads will be constructed once the budget is released by the government. So far Nu 26mn has been spent on farm roads in the gewog.
Meanwhile, Norgaygang is popular for cardamom cultivation.
Krishna Ghalley from Bara, Samtse