In Wangdue Phodrang, the long-standing struggle of not having a motorable bridge over streams in two Chiwogs in Athang Gewog has finally come to an end. The people of Lawa-Lamga and Lomtshokha Chiwogs got one bailey bridge each recently. The chiwogs are located in remote places and people depend on agriculture and livestock for livelihood.
A 60-feet-long bailey bridge over Gangachhu in Lomtshokha Chiwog was inaugurated on Thursday. It has a capacity of 24 metric tons.
Although the Chiwog was connected with a farm road in 2017, people could not reap benefits without a bridge.
Villagers say they could use the farm road only during winters when the water level subsides.
During other days, people used a wooden bridge to cross the stream.
“So far, we had a wooden log bridge over this stream. Our people faced challenges during monsoon, as the swollen stream washed away the bridge frequently. Our people have their paddy fields along both sides of the stream,” said Dawa Gyeltshen, Athang Gup.
“We built the bridge during the daytime and it gets washed away by the stream at night. It was challenging,” said Thukten, a resident.
However, people are now expecting a better life with the completion of the two bridges.
“Even during the rainy season, we will not have to face difficulty. We can take our farm produce to the market easily,” added Thukten.
“We are happy as we got a motorable bridge. It has become quite convenient for us now. Even if we have to go to the hospital, it has become convenient. Earlier, drivers refused to come here due to the lack of a bridge,” said Migmar Dorji, a resident.
“We all have power tillers. So, with this bridge, it has become convenient as we can take the power tillers to our fields without any problem,” said Sonam, another resident.
Similarly, the 150-feet-long Jangcheyna bailey bridge over Harachhu in Lawa-Lamga Chiwog was also inaugurated on Wednesday.
The bridge will benefit around 35 households.
The Punatsangchhu-II Hydroelectric Project Authority provided the parts for the two bridges.
However, some people are questioning the quality and sustainability of the bridge since the parts are old and relocated from the project sites.
“We have used bridge parts after consulting with engineers, concerned ministry, and with the project. They said it can be used,” said Dawa Gyeltshen, Athang Gup.
Although the bridge materials were supported by the project, the government spent over Nu 10 M for the construction works of the two bailey bridges.
Changa Dorji, Wangdue Phodrang
Edited by Tshering Zam