English | Dzongkha Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Ropeway of Goenshari, an ancient gear needs replacement

Jan 8, 2021

A ropeway, the only lifeline to cross the Mochhu River, two households of Yangkana under Goenshari Gewog in Punakha is genuinely in need of a proper bridge. It has been two decades now that the villages have been dependent on the ropeway to travel and transport their goods till the nearest road point. 

Deki from Guma Gewog visited her ailing uncle at the village recently. Without any other way, she used the ropeway, and now she is terrified to go by the same route. She said it is extremely difficult and terrifying to cross the river.

”I feel that one comfortable bridge is a must here. There are so many people at this place, both young and elder citizens. So, it is extremely difficult to travel, especially while taking ailing persons to the hospital,” she said.

Such has been the condition of some 20 people in the village for over 20 years now. Going to school, transporting vegetables, refilling provisions, and running errands, the ropeway has been the only way out. A wooden box, with four-wheel bearings at its four sides on the top, attached to three iron cables overhead and tied to a tree – this serves them all the purpose. 

And 57-year-old Pema from the village has been operating the ropeway for almost two decades now. His children do the same during his absence.

”During summer, crossing the swollen and wrathful Mochhu River is a nightmare to us, especially the children,” said Pema. 

The village is also viable to grow any crop and vegetables but the ropeway impedes them from making a fortune.

Phurba Tshering, who studies at one of the schools in Kabesa visits his parents during the holidays. Although he is used-to to the ropeway, he said it worries him as it might break-off any time. He said, ”crossing the river on the ropeway is not that scary but the condition is.”

According to the Goenshari Gup Yeshi Dorji, the situation demands a proper bridge very urgently, but it could not be materialised due to some social issues and budget constraints. However, he said the gewog will do everything possible to facilitate a suspension bridge.

”If it goes as planned, we will shift the nearby suspension bridge which is ideal, and replace the ropeway,” said the gup.

Meanwhile, Pema spends around Nu 5000 every six months for maintenance of the ropeway. Until a suspension bridge comes over, Pema will put his every effort to make the ropeway safe for use.  

Yangkana village is located at Sechaed-Nang Chiwog, at about 500 meters from the Punakha-Gasa highway.

Changa Dorji

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