Vehicles stranded by heavy road block on the eastern highway

bwIntense rainfall in Trashigang and Samdrup Jongkhar highway have caused road blocks in numerous areas, and the vehicles plying between the two dzongkhags have been stranded for about two days, and it is likely to remain so as the rains have not ceased.

The block has stranded more than 300 vehicles since May 23.

Meanwhile, the vehicles including the public transport services are stuck in various areas. Due to numerous blocks, the passenger travelling to the two districts were stranded on the way.

Major road blocks occurred 20 kilometers away from Narphu under Samdrup Jongkhar which will very likely take some time to clear, as situation has been worsened due to heavy showers that made it difficult for the laborers to clear the road.

Another block that occured near Morong under Samdrup Jongkhar was cleared within a few hours yesterday.

For now the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) and General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) have stopped  the vehicles traffic until the road is cleared as some of the light vehicles are risking their life owing to some emergency calls.

The supervisor at the site said that there are numerous blocks in various places and is difficult to clear them all with the limited equipment available to them. Currently, there are two excavators deployed to clear the huge blocks near Narphu.

The majority of the block has occurred in areas where road-widening and cutting has taken place and with the slight rainfall the loosened boulders and mounds of earth had fallen on the road.

According to the excavator driver, it is risky for them since the boulders above the road fall constantly and pile on the road despite their efforts to clear the debris as fast as possible. To make things worse the visibility is very poor due to thick fog in the area.

Excavators are stationed in each landslide prone areas, but it was difficult to clear as the block is massive, and constant rainfall makes the soil and boulders to pile on the road the moment one pile is cleared.

“Following the continuous landslide caused by heavy rainfall, it is difficult even for the excavators to operate,” said the driver operating the excavator.

The GREF officials who expected the road to be cleared today are worried that they may not be able to do so.

“The drivers should be extra cautious since the lynching boulders and soil is likely to fall at any time,” the site engineer said.

However, the GREF labourers are trying to clear the road and they said that they would keep excavators and labourers at every landslide prone areas to avoid causing huge inconvenience to the passengers and vehicles.

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One comment

  1. “The lost of valuable lives and other casualties followed by road block for many days causing people’s sufferings along the Thimphu-Phuntsholing and Samdrupjongkhar -Trashigang highways for the past 5-7 years in the name of road improvement/expansion is a enough lesson to our leaders and the Government to prevent such unforeseen incidents in future.
    Therefore, Govt. should increase the size(width) of our new road construction/new cutting in all the village farm roads to avoid such complications in future.

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