Safety concerns over major construction holes along the Expressway

Residents of Olakha, Thimphu, are concerned about the deep trenches and holes along the expressway, which were dug almost two months ago to build an underground service duct and an overhead pedestrian walkway.

With almost no progress in the past few weeks, residents are worried about the danger posed by the open trenches and holes.

“The barriers keep getting knocked over, leaving the holes completely exposed”,a Olakha resident said.  “You always see kids along here trying to push each other into the hole, so the barriers are an open invitation for mischief”.

The 1.3 meters deep crevice has remained unfilled for nearly two months, causing traffic tailbacks and confusion on the highway.

“How have they been able to leave a hole that big for so long?” a resident questioned.

Ugyen Dorji, who stays at Changzamtog said, “If they were working I wouldn’t mind but there has not been one single worker for more than two weeks”.

The site supervisor Kezang Thinley of Thimphu Thromde said work on the service duct and footpath is due to be completed by December. “Safety is our number one priority and during our work we ensure that it doesn’t cause any trouble to the people. We would like to thank road users and the residents for their continued patience”.

Another resident pointed out that that issues that occur at the construction site can result from poor or wrong materials or from poor construction practices.

“There will be inconvenience during construction,” said Sonam Namgay, an engineer with the infrastructure division of Thimphu Thromde. We are making an underground service duct, which will make maintenance of cablesmore convenient and easier and above it will be a pedestrian walkway that will also benefit cyclists. We are also trying to expand the parking space”.

Sonam said land disturbed during construction would be returned to its original condition adding that a survey was done before construction work.

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One comment

  1. Dear Pema,

    Thank you for such excellent journalism. I am a researcher of environmental law at Lincoln University in the UK and am currently working on a project relating to the environmental provisions of the Bhutanese Constitution. I would be interested in discussing certain aspects with you.

    Kind regards

    Dr Stephen Turner

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