The 6.2 kilometers stretch of Thimphu–Babesa expressway may have cut down driving distance for motorists but at the same time it seems to have cut down the lifespan of the very same motorists and pedestrians as demonstrated by the number of increasing accidents and injuries on it.
The tragic death of 23-year old Zangmo last year in front of the Dhejung Honda Showroom and the death of the 64-year old man on the same stretch of asphalt this year are a classic examples of how both the victims were knocked down while trying to cross the road through the precariously positioned wire mesh which acts as a divider for the lanes.
In a span of two years between 2011 and 2012 a total of 157 accident cases were reported on the expressway with one fatal death last year and 63 people injured in various accidents on the expressway.
Traffic superintendent, Major Pasang Dorji questioned who had created the opening in the wire mesh and for whose safety was it created? “Do we really need openings in the wire mesh instead why not fly over bridges or bypass which is safe for the people,” he asked.
Explaining the function of the wire mesh, Thimphu Thrompon, Kinlay Dorjee said it acts as a divider for the two lanes and also stops people from crossing across the expressway.
On the ‘small opening’ made along the wire mesh, the Thrompon said that it was created for people to cross the express way for the settlements near the expressway.
“As of now we are working on the over head bridge structural design and hopefully end of this year, we expect to have two to three over-head bridges but till then we will maintain few openings on the wire mesh,” the Thrompon said.
The Thrompon said if the openings are closed then, people might even climb over the wire mesh to get across the road which is more dangerous for them.
Chencho Dema / Thimphu