Major road blockage in Eastern Bhutan

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As monsoon begins, it starts taking the toll in Bhutan. Major highways are blocked across the country with landslides, erosion and cutting off or washing away of portions of road by rivers running alongside.

A section of road taken away by flooded river in eastern Bhutan

Samdrup Jongkhar-Trashigang highway has remained obstructed for three days with many passengers stranded on the way. Along Samdrup Jongkhar -Dewathang stretch of 18km, road blockages have occurred in six places and it is ten other places between Dewathang and Narphung in a distance of 41km.

Although 900 labourers and 12 machines are continuously working to clear the blockages, according to GREF, it is an arduous task to make a safe passage for all vehicles plying along that winding mountainous road. Some passengers are taking the option to walk down to Samdrup Jongkhar from Morong blockage site after they see no signs of clearing the road sooner.

The monsoon rain has been quite heavy this year, but main cause of the mudslide and boulders falling off the hill are due to loosening of soil resulted by the road widening work, said a representative of GREF.

General reserve engineering force (GREF) has been entrusted the road construction and maintenance in Bhutan, which began partnering with public works department since 1970s.