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Road between Punakha Central School and Punakha Dzong parking area needs widening

The road between Punakha Central School and the Punakha Dzong parking area near Mochhu is narrow, posing risk to both pedestrians and motorists. Concerned people, who frequent the stretch of road, are calling authorities to widen the road before any serious mishaps occur. The stretch is about a kilometre long.     

According to the Department of Surface Transport, the road’s width is five metres, which conforms to the standards of a secondary national highway.

The road becomes congested when heavy vehicles pass by. Coupled with mules walking along the road, the situation aggravates.

People say movement of vehicles and pedestrians on the road is increasing every year.

Since the Punakha Dzong viewpoint also falls on the stretch, locals and tourists gather at the spot for sightseeing, increasing the risk of accidents.

“Some vehicles even do not have the patience to drive slowly when there is a crowd on the road. There are high chances of serious accidents due to the narrow road. I am also driving a scooter but I have to wait while other heavy vehicle passes through,” said Nado, a motorist.

“I am worried accidents might happen while on this road while going to the school or the dzong in a hurry. The road is narrow here. I do not know whether it is because of this small cliff above the road. It would be convenient for the drivers if the road size could is widened,” said Lhab Tshering, another motorist.

Day scholar students of the Punakha Central School use the road twice a day.

According to school management and parents, they always remind their children to be cautious while walking through the area.

“There are risks of students being hit when two heavy vehicles pass each other due to the narrow road. Moreover, there is a small turning where there is a serious risk of accidents,” said Sangay Wangchuk, a student.

“A footpath along this highway is required for the safety of students. Therefore, we the students would like to request the concerned authority to kindly construct a footpath for the convenience of students and pedestrians,” said Dawa Drakpa, another student.

Some local leaders also raised this issue during the Dzongkhag Tshogdu last month.

According to one of the district officials, the district administration is prioritising widening the road in the 13th Five-Year-Plan.

Plans are to construct cycling and footpaths with streetlight facility along the road from Khuruthang Town to Mochhu car parking area.

Changa Dorji, Punakha

Edited by Sherub Dorji