People of Shingkhar, Bardo and part of Nangkor in Zhemgang are concerned about the deteriorating condition of around 30-kilometer stretch of their Gewog Center or GC road. Blacktopped around four years ago, the stretch is now in a pathetic state, making it difficult for smaller cars to ply. Motorists along this road say the road needs to be immediately repaired.
The Gewog Center road runs through the three Gewogs of Nangkor, Bardo and Shingkhar. The 30-kilometer stretch between Buli in Nangkor and Nimshong in Shingkar is in deteriorating condition. Riddled with big potholes, some stretches have developed deep holes and the base course has almost entirely come off. The motorists while dodging potholes often get the bottom of their cars hit by stones.
Sangay Khando, a motorist at Nimshong Chiwog in Shingkhar Gewog said the road was much better when it was taken care of by the erstwhile Department of roads. “But after it was taken over by the district administration and then the Gewog offices, it is now barely taken care of. We had to clear blockages on the road twice last summer and the problem is very persistent.”
“The Shingkhar-Bardo GC road is in bad condition especially the Buli to Shawapang stretch. Our cars are being damaged while taking this road. It is in very bad shape,” said Sangay Tshewang a regular commuter along the road.
With the monsoon fast approaching and the drains virtually worn out in some areas, residents are already worried.
Meanwhile, Shingkhar Gewog office said that with limited manpower and equipment, the office has only been able to maintain a few stretches.
However, with the handing over of the responsibility of maintaining GC roads from Gewog offices to the Department of Surface Transport already endorsed by the parliament in December, last year, the Gewog office hopes that the department would repair the road soon.
Shingkhar Gup Tshering Lhendup says if the GC roads’ maintenance responsibility is given back to the Department of Surface Transport, he believes the department would mend the road. “If not, the Gewog office has planned to maintain it after the completion of existing blacktopping works on other stretches of the road, we will look for maintenance budget very soon. The works would entail a huge budget.”
Meanwhile, the road has not yet been handed over to the Department of Surface Transport. The Chief engineer of the department’s regional office in Zhemgang said his office is awaiting directives from the government to carry out the road handing-tasking over procedure.
The road connects the three Gewogs with the rest of the Gewogs in Zhemgang. The Department of Surface Transport blacktopped and handed over the road, which is around 100 kilometers long to the three Gewogs in 2019.
Pema Samdrup, Zhemgang
Edited by Kipchu
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