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A portion of road washed away between Samtse and Halhaley
A portion of road washed away between Samtse and Halhaley

Maintenance begins on Samtse-Dorokha road

Monsoon this year has left the 54-kilometre (km) Samtse-Dorokha road in a bad condition, leaving drivers and travellers irked.

From Samtse to Halhaley, about 30km towards Dorokha, there are multiple stretches where blacktop works have withered and pebbles and stones exposed making it difficult to drive.

About two major road portions have been completely washed away and vehicles have to ply through narrow passages.

A driver, Tshering Tobgay, who drives his Bolero pickup daily, said the road condition has to improve.

“A better road would mean low maintenance for our vehicles and comfortable drive for passengers,” he said, adding that some works have begun on the road these days.

The executive engineer (EE) with the Department of Roads (DoR) in Samtse, DP Subba, said they are maintaining the roads.

“We need to widen and do formation cutting,” the engineer said, adding that the work would be completed within two weeks time.

DP Subba said roads office did not carry out the works in summer considering the weather and workload they would have done.

He said the works to blacktop the withered portions of the roads have also begun.

Meanwhile, about five to six km of road to Dorokha from Sangoori point on the road was not blacktopped yet. Although blacktop works started in 2015, it was not yet completed.

Dorokha residents have been waiting for this portion to be blacktopped. Residents also shared that there was delay in the work several times.

“It was delayed and again the work was given to the same contractor,” a resident said. “I don’t know what happened after that.”

Engineer DP Subba said they decided to not blacktop the stretch because it was unstable. “If an investment is made and the road is not stable as expected, the public would not benefit and the investment would go into waste.”

He said they would have some measures and corrections in place first, followed by which the blacktop works would get done. “There are also some areas where road-widening works are needed.”

The executive engineer said another road point at Yabala is also unstable due to the geological findings. “This section of the road has also not been blacktopped.”

Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing

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