After a year long delay the Nishoka Bridge in Panbang under Zhemgang Dzongkhag will be completed in December and it will be the second longest bridge in Bhutan.
People in the region have for long grumbled with the bridge’s construction. The Gewog Gup Rinchen Wangdi said the Highway construction and other development activities were held back due to the absence of a bridge.
At the moment the people travel from Assam states of India. They say this is not a safe or a reliable route due to security reasons and frequent strikes.
The original budget allocated for the Nishoka Bridge was Nu 152mn.
Project Director under Department of Roads (DoR), Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS) Pravat Rai said the bridge would have been completed in August 2011 if not for the location of Panbang Dungkhag.
The gewog is situated in an inaccessible area whereby people have to travel through Assam.
Procurement of construction materials from neighboring states especially in monsoon season is therefore an arduous task. Further, absconding laborers added to delay in works.
“The major problem was the lack of expertise to erect the steel arch bridge,” said the Project Director.
The project has currently managed situations with human resources from India under constant supervision from DoR officials.
“Almost 82% of work is done, now it’s left with erection and decking of one span of the bridge,” he said.
The Gewog gup said the construction of the bridge started in February 2010 and was initially scheduled to complete within 18 months.
Take off point for the road was from Praling under Trong gewog and stretches from Rindhibi and ends in Pangthang with a bridge. The completion of the bridge would facilitate road constructions.
The construction works for the bridge in Pangthang which includes road blacktopping is already awarded and would take another two years to complete.
In total the budget allocated for the Zhemgang highway was Nu 1046mn.