Gomtu residents are desperately looking forward to see the road to the main town get repaired and maintained on a timely basis.
The road from the main gate towards the Gomtu Middle Secondary School and Hospital has not been repaired after the completion of the construction. The road is riddled with potholes today.
The road, according to the residents, poses serious risk for the children apart from the health impacts from the dust. Though the Penden Cement Authority Limited (PCAL) has deputed a water tanker to sprinkle water daily, the dust still blows when it’s dry.
The residents are also hopeful that the responsible authorities will maintain the road soon.
More than 700 heavy and light vehicles, ferrying goods to and from PCAL, Lhaki Cement Industry and Jigme Mining Private Limited, Bhutan Polymers Private Limited, ply on the road daily. Also the road is being used by the public of Phuentsholing gewog.
The residents say that the road also poses serious threat to the students of Gomtu MSS, when having to walk the roadside during the school season. The drivers sometimes tend to drive from the sidewalk to save their vehicles from getting into the potholes. A woman also had reportedly been hit by a truck on the road.
As shopkeeper, Jasoda Khandal, 55, said, “It’s a big threat for our children.”
She added that she had been there since 1982, but the road had never been repaired.
Meanwhile, Lhaki Cement Private Limited had repaired the road in 2016. The company made more than 1-feet-deep concrete road from the town till the plant. Still, the road at the main town, remains neglected. The road also has no side drains, allowing the water to flow from the road to the houses during monsoon. The road has also been left with a few defunct street lights installed by the company.
“It has been almost a year without street lights. The time has come for the road to get repaired,” 60 years old Dawa Zangmo said.
A town representative from Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Phub Wangdi said the companies of Gomtu have agreed to jointly repair the road after meeting with the communication minister DN Dhungyel earlier this year. But it is not confirmed when the work will start.
“The companies have agreed but we don’t have idea,” he said.
Phub Wangdi also said that the gewog administration has agreed to work on the other road, away from the town.
PCAL’s Managing Director, Kaylzang Tshering said the road was initially built by the company, but the board has to agree on the maintenance.
“Earlier it was a government owned company and expenditure from either the ministry or the company would mean the same. But now the board has to agree as there are shareholders. People expect only PCAL to work on the maintenance,” he said.
Kaylzang Tshering said the company maintains the road annually, but using the road by heavy vehicles has destroyed it
Meanwhile, there are around 34 households in Gomtu town.
Krishna Ghalley from Gomtu