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Tug of war over road alignment halts construction

Nov 26, 2014

Tug of war over road alignment halts constructionThe construction of the Gewog Centre Road of Shingkhar in Zhemgang is yet to resume after works came to a halt about three months ago. The Shingkhar Gewog centre road has been fraught with setbacks since its construction began early last year.

This time, our Zhemgang correspondent Pema Samdrup says, the works got stalled after some people of Wamling Chiwog complained that the road alignment should be changed.

“At the time of the survey for the road alignment, we were told that the priority is to take the shortest route possible. But in Thizur, the road was realigned,” said a villager from Wamling, Thinley Tobgay.

But the villagers of lower Wamling are against it. They say it’s politically motivated and want the road construction to take place as per the existing alignment.

“What we hear is that some local leaders incited villagers to push for a change in the alignment, saying that the people have the right to demand for it,” said another villager from Wamling, Dawa Gyeltshen.

The disagreement among Wamling villagers over the road alignment brought works to a halt in September.

This is not the first setback suffered by the Shingkhar Gewog centre road. It had faced a similar hurdle in 2013. The people of Thrisa wanted the road alignment to be changed and taken through their village.

The Department of Roads, meanwhile, has been carrying out a resurvey of the road alignment.

The 17-kilometre Shingkhar Gewog centre road construction from Thairangzam began in 2013. About eight kilometres has been completed so far.

The road, once complete, will benefit 303 households in Shingkhar Gewog. Shingkhar is one the last two gewogs that are still not connected by a gewog centre road.

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