Bhutan is a country with one of the lowest per capita incomes and very limited financial and industrial resources. Situated in the Himalayan foothills and mountains, its road transport network must negotiate very challenging terrain in terms of topography, rainfall and earthquake propensity with a widespread risk of flooding and landslides. For the majority of communities, there is only a single road or bridge by which markets and services may be accessed. If such roads or bridges are cut by flood or landslide, communities upstream of the cut will, effectively, become isolated. The paper describes the initial conclusions drawn from an investigatory visit to assess the current vulnerability of such lifeline roads and to propose simple means of evaluating problems before roads become impassable and improving remedial responses. It is concluded that small-scale activities could be undertaken to improve preparedness and to speed repairs but that locating resources would need careful planning given the uncertainties of the time and location of future events
Papers Presented at the 2018 37th Southern African Transport Conference 9-12 July 2018 Pretoria, South Africa. Theme "Towards a desired transport future: safe, sufficient and affordable".