In recent times, Zhemgang has been making quite a headline on national media- BBS. The menacing road conditions at Reutala has called on the attention of many travelers and left them almost ball freezing.
In retrospect, Kheng Zhemgang was once hotspot for people commuting from Bumthang and Trongsa towards Gelephu when the construction plan of Wangdigang bypass didn’t pop up. It was the onset of golden era then. Business bloomed to the extent of explosion and socio economic status prodigiously thrived.
But the golden era reign was put to an end with the emerging idea of bypass route from Wangdigang. People were left chapfallen at the proposal of road truncation but having considered the foreseeable gains of the road at large, it became indispensable to repel the bitter truth. While on the contrary, it failed to sound mellifluous for those residing at proper Zhemgang and has ensued in near geographical seclusion. This is a short account of how a simple road diversion has left the distant place suffer to its own fate.
Today when the human muscle powers are replaced by mammoth technologies and ideas become innovative, can’t we deploy solutions that assure decent roads and appropriately connect the place with others?
Like other places, Zhemgang is also designated as one of the tourist destinations whose diversity of avifauna has made it rightly call ‘birding paradise’. Moreover, it is home to some of the nature’s glorified creatures that puts Bhutan in the frontline of global birding arena.
To this end, realizing plethora of scopes in ameliorating livelihood of communities, a tourist spot was also installed at Dangkhar. It consists of few houses ideally engulfed by breathtaking greeneries and splendidly put up traditional houses which are of earth build.
Regrettably, it remains practically defunct throughout the year. Even if it’s not so, number of tourist paving visit lies close to couple of them. The obvious reason for the poor turnout of tourists is the erratic road conditions at Reutala coupled with torrential downpours. Already the usual length of road requires 7- 8 hours’ time to complete the course and with occasional blocks to beat at different locations, it consumes not less than 10 hours. As the majority of time has to be invested on roads, many feel reluctant to make it up to here.
Come years, If we are to see hosts of tourist, the first assignment is to settle the miserable roads. But if techniques other than usual ones are not thought of, it can be a sure tinderbox situation at this vulnerable point, as flying boulders could wipeout the dozer and deposit it below in yawning chasm. Since the affair has reached a stalemate, now it is high time the concerned stakeholders heed less to the present call of solution and try to outwit through new tactics- Road diversion.
Until road diversion is adopted as a means, the problem could keep coming and rather become worst. Being complacent of the current state of problem can potentially ensue in serious economic regression in near future. And there is no denying that civil servants from all walks of life shun their placement here, not on account of place but because of road conditions.
Truth be told, it takes less time for a parcel or mail to arrive Thimphu from Japan than to Zhemgang from Thimphu.
I am all praise to everyone here enduring the hardship.