Lives of people in Monangkhola in Khaling, Trashigang have become difficult after the recent road cutting was completed but left hazardously without a concrete wall to protect it from landslides.
The road-cutting in the middle of human settlements and cultivation, left without any fortification, turned the place into a frequent landslide-prone area. The unremitting rainfall for more than a week in the place caused serious problems to the people residing in that area and also to vehicles plying through the highway.
On 5 March due to heavy rainfall, vehicles were stranded for more than three hours and a household located below the highway endured every danger being in the path of the direct threat.
At around 8:30 pm when the family members were having dinner, their kitchen was flooded suddenly and to their shock an unusual volume of water flowed down to their house and cultivated fields.
“We did not realize until the water got inside our kitchen,” Karma Choden, 44 said. “With no walls constructed after the road cutting, water drainage obstructions and road blocks follow even after a light shower.”
Karma said their families with the help of people who got stranded cleared the way and drained the water late night under heavy rainfall. If the blockage was not cleared it would have submerged crops and parts of the house.
Residents shared that the arable land is slowly decreasing and flows as mud water on the road which is in bad condition. Others shared that the road cutting is more of threat than help to them.
Another resident Jampel Gyeltshen said such risk calls for immediate action from the concerned people to prevent further loss of land and damages to properties. As the monsoon season begins, bigger complications would occur if not curbed at an initial stage.
He also said landslides triggered by road cutting have become quite common and nothing is done to prevent them, even if it posed huge risks to settlements. The road cutting completed three months ago has damaged arable lands and would further continue in the absence of a concrete wall as protection.
Another affected resident Tandin Wangmo said to further lose land is regrettable. “Concrete walls and proper water drainage scheme is mandatory after the road cutting especially around the human settlements,” she added.
Some people also shared that the completion of road cutting ended with hanging boulder, soil, log etc which they say is hazardous. Monangkhola village is located six kilometers away from Khaling town and has more than 16 households.