Bridge col­lapses within year of com­ple­tion, vil­lagers suf­fer

Business Bhutan - - Front Page - Kr­ishna Ghal­ley from Tad­ing, Samtse

A cul­vert bridge across the Lorikha river in Tad­ing gewog in Samtse has col­lapsed within a year of its com­ple­tion and has never been re­paired since.

Cur­rently, the vil­lagers are us­ing a tem­po­rary wooden bridge to cross the river.

Built in 2012 by a pri­vate con­struc­tion com­pany, the bridge was used by more than three vil­lages of the gewog. Also, the peo­ple used the bridge to reach the gewog cen­ter which lies across the river for their of­fi­cial works.

M/S Tshenrab Con­struc­tion Com­pany

had car­ried out the works in 2012. How­ever, the bridge has not lasted for more than a year. The con­trac­tor said that the bridge was con­structed ac­cord­ing to the spec­i­fi­ca­tions pro­vided by the gewog ad­min­is­tra­tion. The con­trac­tor had pro­posed the ad­min­is­tra­tion to go for a bai­ley bridge fore­see­ing the dura­bil­ity of the bridge. The seven-meter bridge was con­structed in the pres­ence of govern­ment of­fi­cials, ac­cord­ing to the con­trac­tor, Tshenda.

The Nu 1.2mn bridge col­lapsed af­ter the river washed away the base of the bridge. Since then the bridge was left un­touched. The con­trac­tor said that seven me­ters long was too short for the river. “I have worked in pres­ence of the of­fi­cials and handed over to them. I have con­structed ac­cord­ing to the draw­ings and the es­ti­mates,” Tshenda said.

The De­part­ment of Roads (DoR) has re­cently sur­veyed the bridge for re­con­struc­tion ac­cord­ing to the con­trac­tor and pro­posed for a 27m-long bridge.

Mean­while, peo­ple have been wait­ing for a new bridge. The bridge is sup­posed to help the peo­ple and stu­dents reach school dur­ing sum­mer when the river swells and be­comes dif­fi­cult to cross. Only heavy ve­hi­cles can cross the river dur­ing sum­mer. “We have been wait­ing for the bridge to be re­con­structed. But noth­ing has hap­pened af­ter al­most five years. Maybe no one is both­ered,” said Dilip Ghal­ley, a vil­lager. It has in­con­ve­nienced the peo­ple to trans­port goods across the river.

An­other vil­lager said that the bridge would serve as a life­line for the peo­ple to trans­port heavy goods across the river. “We have been wait­ing for years now. We would be happy if the govern­ment con­structs a new bridge,” said a farmer from Tad­ing gewog.

With the open­ing of the Amochhu Bridge, the bridge over the Lorikha Bridge could help the peo­ple to reach Phuentshol­ing faster.

Tad­ing Gup Ja­gath Bdr. Ghal­ley said that the work has al­ready been taken up by DoR. The gewog ad­min­is­tra­tion had tried to mo­bi­lize funds for the re­con­struc­tion but could not. “We planned to re­con­struct the bridge but since it’s un­der DoR, we could not take any ac­tion,” he said.

Samtse Dzongkhag Plan­ning Of­fi­cer Tashi said that the work was stalled with the plan to shift the gewog cen­ter to Pan­bari. Also, he said that the au­dit was done on the con­struc­tion of the bridge which pointed a flaw from the con­trac­tor dur­ing the con­struc­tion. “It has re­ported a man-made dis­as­ter which made it fail tech­ni­cally,” he said.

Mean­while, the dzongkhag has pro­posed to restart the con­struc­tion es­ti­mated to be around Nu 7mn in the 12th Plan.

The vil­lagers across the bridge are how­ever con­nected in­ter­nally through a farm road from Sun­ta­ley.

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