ABI to deploy machine for three months to clear Pasakha road block

The Association of Bhutanese Industries (ABI) has decided to deploy a pay loader at Bhalujhora in Pasakha where a massive landslide has blocked the road.

Already, the Department of Road (DOR) under works and human settlement ministry has placed an excavator at the site permanently.

ABI’s member industries which have their manufacturing plants in Pasakha have agreed to fund the machine for three months to clear the blockade for free movement of vehicles. With the continuous rainfall, the massive slide above the road has blocked the traffic flow for the industries and community.

Almost 2,000 light and heavy vehicles move along the road daily. “ABI will now, negotiate with the machine owner for hiring and the member industries have agreed to fund for the deployment,” said Program Officer of ABI, Pema Namgay Ghalley. However, the amount for the contribution is yet to be fixed. The Program Officer said that all the member industries’ contribution will be used to fund the hiring and deployment of the machine.

Industries are said to be the biggest losers due to the Bhalujhora slide. It has hampered the operation of most of the industries. Last week’s block which remained for days, has lead to the exhaustion of raw materials and prevented dispatch finished goods. Also, due to road block, the employees have remained absent or late for duty causing inconvenience to some companies. “It undermines industries’ commitment to the customers as the industries commit to supply required materials on time,” said the Program officer.

Some industries have already deployed machineries for the road maintenance but this time, the industries unanimously plan to unite to share the burden. Now, ABI has installed two  floodlights at the slide for the safety of the vehicles, and passengers at night. “The road is being used by others, too. So for everyone’s benefit, we have installed these lights,” said Pem Namgay.

The massive landslide in Bhalujhora was reportedly caused by the excavation work for the farm road. ABI has also written to Phuentsholing Drungkhag office for immediate execution works at the site for better results.

Also ABI has requested the South Asian Subregional Economic Corridor (SASEC) to complete its projects on time. Three packages of SASEC’s projects are ongoing on Pasakha currently. SASEC’s Project Manager, Sonam Tobgay said that the works are progressing well and all the projects are expected to complete on time. DOR has also deployed another pay loader for clearing work from last month. Due to multiple blocks along Kharbandi-Pasakha road, additional machineries were a requirement.

Meanwhile, Royal Bhutan Police has also played a role in clearing the blocks and maintaining smooth traffic flow along the road.

Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing