While southern dzongkhags pray for rain, people in Orong would otherwise wish for the lack of it. The shopkeepers especially, are deeply worried about the road conditions which have worsened with the onset of monsoon.
The 12 km stretch of farm road which connects Orong to the highway is in very bad condition and Taxis do not want to drive the 60 km road from Samdrup Jongkhar to Orong or the 12km road from Shekpashing toward Orong. People often have to walk when the vehicles get stuck in the mud.
The shopkeepers are worried that they may not be able to earn their daily income if this situation continues for long. The biggest fear is that they may have to shut down their shops.
A shopkeeper, Kinga said it’s been four days that her goods were stranded at Samdrup Jongkhar. “Taxi drivers are not willing to go to Orong and they charge very high when we insist on going,” she said.
Another shopkeeper, Deki said the rainy season usually affects their business and they can’t do anything. She hopes that the government replaces the farm road with a paved road as Orong has been developing because of the two high schools and many development activities.
Orong Gup Khawjay said the gewog had approached the contractors to clear the road and maintain the road but Taxi drivers still refused to drive to the gewog carrying goods as the road condition had deteriorated and even if they were willing, they charged more than the normal rate.
“We hope that the condition of the road will improve and hope not to face the same problem next monsoon,” said Gup Khawjay.
A taxi driver, Dhendup who usually travels toward Orong said “The road is not good as it damages our vehicles and it is also very slippery during monsoon. That may be the reason why taxis don’t want to come here”.
The Orong community looks forward to solve this problem as the Gup and the community discusses means to tackle the monsoon. Maintenance works on the farm road will start as soon as they get a contractor who will undertake the job.