During the Question Hour Session, the Member of Parliament (MP) of Maenbi-Tsenkhar constituency, Choki Gyeltshen, raised a question to the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS) on what measures are being taken to prevent accidents on the roads and mitigate the risks to travelers.
He said that the government has been working on the widening of the East-West Highway from Ura (Bumthang) to Yongkola (Mongar), which has worsened the road conditions, and made it more dangerous to travel on.
In addition, he has asked the MoWHS Minister on the government’s plans to complete the work and if contractors can ensure that the project is completed on time.
Responding to the question,Lyonpo Dorji Tshering said that the situation was same with the Phuentsholing-Thimphu highway when it was first constructed. However, MoWHS is hopeful of getting better with time, Lyonpo added.
He said, “I agree that the road condition from Ura to Yongkola has worsen, and we have come up with various solutions to tackle the situation,and we are trying our best to resolve the issue. There is a major landslide at Namling, whereby, despite having expertise both from outside and from within, we are not able to find a solution. So, things are challenging for us, at times.”
He added that there is nothing much they can do rather than to wait for until the landslide subsides. However, the ministry is finding ways to transit the commuters in between the blocks, serve them meals, and deploy the machines to clear the roadblock at the earliest.
The ministry has awarded the works to 8 contractors, whereby 50 percent of the road is ready for blacktopping. However, the only worry, for now, is the monsoon rains, which might hinder the work progress, Lyonpo said.
He said, “We are sorry for the inconvenience caused. To keep the public informed about the blocks and road conditions, we have employed one designated person who will handle the social media to post the information on time.”
Lyonpo saidthe ministry requests for support from public until the completion of the road construction.