The flooded river has washed away both road and ropeway
Monsoon: Movement of both people and vehicles has been completely stopped with the swollen Yudhiri river washing away the only road to the Phongmey gewog since August 10.
The river also washed away the ropeway installed as an alternative for human movement. The ropeway’s container snapped from its hinges.
Phongmey mangmi Namgyal Wangdi said that the bloated water from Yudhiri river washed away both road and ropeway on July 10 afternoon.
“The heavy downpour has led to sudden surge in the water level and its rapid current,” he said.
The ropeway is believed to have snapped after its dangling rope entangled with some heavy objects like logs from the debris in the gorge.
Only the two cables with the remains of its hinges are left of the ropeway.
Meanwhile, until yesterday afternoon, the river remained swollen, with rocks of massive sizes and numbers strewn on the road. The road on the right bank has been eroded to a ditch.
People from Sakteng and Merak gewogs would also remain cut off, for Phongmey feeder road is also a lifeline to these places.
Until, the weather clears up, people will be prevented from crossing over to either side of the river.
“For safety reasons, well restrict movement of both people and vehicles to either side until the cessation of the rain,” Phongmey gup, Palden Dorji said.
The gewog would also refrain from constructing temporary bridge because of impending danger from the abrupt rise in the volume of the river water.
“Except for ferrying sick across the river, we won’t align a temporary bridge, for crossing the river jeopardises lives,” Palden Dorji said.
The clearing of massive blockade is expected to take weeks.
“If department of roads (DoR) has no excavator, it might also be a month before the blockade is cleared to mend the road to its pliable state,” Palden Dorji said.
Meanwhile, Sakteng gewog officials said that the road damage and washing away of ropeway would have some impact on the movement of both its people and civil servants.
“Everyone, including visitors, would be affected if Phongmey road is washed away, for that road is also our lifeline,” Sakteng mangmi,
Yeshey Tshering said.
The 15 officials on tour to Sakteng, planning to return in a few days to Trashigang, are likely to be affected too.
The gewogs also pleaded with DoR to allocate an excavator for prompt action during such road damages.
“Since Phongmey road is lifeline to entire Sakteng dungkhag, government ought to allocate an excavator until the rainy season ceases,” a shopkeeper from Sakteng, Tshering Drakpa, said.
By Tempa Wangdi, Trahigang