The National Council yesterday accepted the government’s plan to blacktop the remaining 14km of Chuzomsa-Baylangdra gewog connectivity road in the 12th Plan.

National Council earlier raised concerns with the government after it found that a budget of Nu 130.441 million (M) was approved by the Parliament in the ninth session in the 2017-18 annual budget for the black-topping of Chuzomsa-Baylangdra road in Wangdue.

However, the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement deemed this to be a mistake and reported that there was no budget allocated for the construction of this road.

The budget was listed under the activities of roads sector funded by the Government of India.

Therefore, the National Council in December last year resolved that the government and the works and human settlement ministry in particular, must honour the decision of the Parliament expressed through the approval of the budget and accordingly ensure funding as well as the implementation of this activity.

The finance ministry responded saying that MoWHS having recognised the priority and importance of this activity has initiated blacktopping of 8km of the road with allocated fund of Nu 25 million.

Gasa MP Dorji Khandu said that the road connects Baylangdra ney (sacred place), which is a national heritage site.

“If they cannot blacktop it now when they are in power, how could they do it later?” he asked. He said that with the National Assembly elections approaching the issue could get politicised and is best resolved before that.

The gewog connectivity road benefits more than 4,000 people in the three gewogs, of Nisho, Kazhi, and Phangyuel, including devotees who come on pilgrimage to Baylangdra nye.

MoWHS officials earlier said that the approved budget was to blacktop the road, the take-up point for the roads to the three gewogs that are already blacktopped.

Tshering Palden