English | Dzongkha Wednesday, September 23, 2020

People unhappy with the bridge construction progress

May 31, 2012
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People of lower Kheng are not happy with the progress of the bridge construction that will connect Pangbang with Gomphu. The mega construction work has been delayed by some nine months now.

The people say they need the bridge urgently. The road construction that connects Pangbang with Tingtibi has been stalled after a rough cutting was completed because of the bridge. Heavy machinery are required to continue the road construction but there is no bridge.

Once the road is complete people of Panbang need not have to travel from the Indian states of Assam. They say it is not so safe and reliable to use the current route because of security reasons and frequent strikes.

Moreover, the road was constructed only for the Manas National Park. At the moment, everyone travelling to Panbang have to ride through the Indian side of the Manas National Park of India, disturbing the protected ecosystems.

“We have to depend on Indian escort security when we travel to other places. If the bridge is completed at the earliest then rest of constructions on the other side will move faster,” said Nangla Gup.

Why is it that the bridge construction is taking long? The project manager of the bridge construction, Rafiqul Hussain, said change in design of the bridge, poor road condition from the border gate till Panbang, frequent strikes in India and shortage of labour as some reasons of the delay.

“We needed specific cement and that added to more delay, by some two months,” he added.

However, the consultant does not agree. Pashupati Kharga said apart from changes in the design of the project rest are but mere excuses. “The contractor should have anticipated the problems like labour shortage, strikes and construction materials and made plans accordingly,” he said.

The construction management claims that about 80 percent of the project complete and it will take not more four months to fully hand over the bridge. However, some people said it might take longer than that looking at the pace of the construction.

For now, people of Panbang will have to follow the same routine that they have been doing in the past.

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