After more than a year and given the snail’s progress, people of Phangkhar and Goshing gewog under Zhemgang have drawn their last straw of patience to see the completion of the Rindhibi Bridge.
People were elated when the construction of the bridge was initiated but lately people are grousing when nothing is happening to the bridge.
Although the two gewogs are connected with road, people have to carry goods on their back crossing the river sometimes risking their lives when light vehicles cannot ply from Rindhibi point.
“There is no progress with the bridge; it’s now more than a year,” Phangkhar Gup Rinchen Lungten said. He also said that only bridge apartments are built till now and the bridge develops very slowly.
According to him development activities are held back and procurement of construction materials especially in monsoon season is an arduous task and construction works get stalled.
He also said that many development activities are either delayed or have to be held back due to transportation problems.
“The community once approached the concerned construction company about the earliest need of the bridge,” Trong gup Dorji Wangchuk said. He said that some construction materials were inadequate and bridge apartments were left to dry.
Heavy vehicles like Tipper trucks can ply during fair monsoon but hardly any such heavy vehicles ply in that area as the truckers complained about the vehicles being dented by uneven road.
The Trong Gup also said that people who hire vehicles to transport goods are charged heavily by the owners and Nu 2000 was charged to carry goods for about 20 km distance. However those vehicles remain wedged in the river many a times.
Therefore, People have to walk 20kms from Rindhibi to reach Phangkhar and Goshing gewog.
The project Engineer of the M/s Santalal Brother Construction Company, Shivalal Acharya said the reason for the slow progress of the bridge is due to bad monsoon this year which hindered the company to transport construction materials.
He said during the worst monsoon this year they were unable to transport and store basic construction materials like sand and cement.
There also are some technical issues which led to some delay. The drawing of a bridge which comprises different parts is confusing and the client is taking time to issue a clear drawing and finalize.
However the Project Engineer said that the company is in delay in some areas but ahead in other areas. He said that the bridge would be operational within the contractual period of time.
Project Director under the Department of Road (DoR), Ministry of Works and Human Settlement Pravat Rai said that almost 90% of the construction works has been completed.
The original budget allotted for the Rindhibi Bridge was Nu 70.72mn and was initiated from April last year and the contractual period is till 31 March next year.