Monsoon is a season of stress for many parts of the country with rivers flooding, landslides and roadblocks. One such location is the industrial town of Pasakha, 18 kms from Phuentsholing.
Methay, a businessman from Pasakha, said outgoing and incoming vehicle gets stranded for one to two days due to swollen river at Balujhora and Bhawanijhora though light vehicles can ply over the bridge.
“We don’t get our materials on time, which indirectly hampers our business”, he said adding that if this kind of heavy rain continuous for another few days Pasakha will get cut off.
Similarly, Tenzin said that school going children and people working in office gets late whenever the monsoon starts. When traffic is stopped, he said that, people walk and cross the river taking risk of getting washed away by the river.
Meanwhile, project manager from DoR, Phuentsholing, said that there are usually various roadblocks between Phuentsholing and Pasakha. He said that heavy and medium vehicles have to ply across the stream as the bridge in Balujhora can handle only light vehicles.
He said the Balujhora brigde was constructed in 1980s and its lifespan was over. He also said construction of a new bridge was awarded (whole package) to Joint Venture in 2015. But the contract was terminated in January 2016 after some issues.
“Now with financial support from ADB, we will start work in the first week of October 2017 whereby the work is divided into three packages and contract duration for 15 months for each package.”
The work was initially expected to start in March 2017.
He said they are observing the existing bridge everyday since it is in critical condition and can collapse any time.
Very recently the bridge developed a crack. Investigation found that it is permissible for light vehicles for the time being. A gabion was immediately constructed down-stream.