Development: Amochhu Land Reclamation and Township Project (ALRT) in Phuentsholing could begin by 2017. Asian Development Bank (ADB) has shown special interest on the project.

DHI-INFRA is currently preparing Integrated Detailed Project Report (IDPR). The consultancy service for the preparation of the IDPR has been awarded to M/s HCP Design, Planning and Management Pvt. Ltd, Ahmedabad, India at a contract price of Nu 82.40 million.

“Field studies are being carried out at Amochhu embankment currently,” said a DHI-INFRA official.

Site assessment and geotechnical studies to ascertain soil profile, environmental studies to ascertain wind pressure, humidity, temperature, air quality, and social impact study to find out advantages and disadvantages are underway.

If ADB decides to fund the project, it will provide 70 percent of estimated Nu 9 billion.

Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) is the project owner and the land will be registered in its name. As the project owner, DHI will be investing in the project and it is likely to adopt financing ratio of 30:70 with 30 percent equity injection. The remaining 70 percent will be loaned from ADB.

According to DHI-INFRA officials, ADB has shown positive indications to provide loan to finance the project and necessary actions are currently being taken to meet the ADB’s eligibility requirements. After the recent visit made by the ADB officials at Amochhu site, DHI-Infra officials said that ADB was impressed.

“IDPR is being prepared as per the ADB guidelines and recommendations,” a DHI-Infra official said. IDPR will be completed in September 2016.

Following the completion of the inception report on the preparation of the IDPR, a day-long stakeholders’ consultation meeting was also organised by DHI-INFRA in Thimphu. The meeting, which was intended to take into account stakeholders’ right at the early planning stages, saw participation of stakeholders from both public and private sectors.

A state-of-the-art flood warning system will also be established. The project is also expected to generate employment opportunities, boost trade and commerce, and enhance the general wellbeing of the people on both sides of the border.

The total project size is expected to be about 1, 200 acres.

The project will reclaim from Purbey until the international border downstream stretching to about nine kilometres. The reclaimed area will be divided into three zones.

Rajesh Rai, Phuentsholing