Blacktopping of the 26km Khibisa-Daga dzong is set to be part of the 12th Plan, works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden said.

Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that gewogs in Dagana are scattered and road connecting the gewogs are limited. “Looking at how a road would benefit the people, the road connectivity directly from Khibisa to Daga Dzong was started in 2015.”

Direct route from Khibisa to Daga Dzong will decrease the travelling distance by about 20km.

Drukjeygang Tseza MP Karma Dorji said that apart from road construction at Khibisa by the previous government, no progress has happened. “The government has invested large amount of money, yet there is very little progress at the area. The condition might have worsened.”

Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that currently formation cutting have been completed and permanent base works are being carried out, which will be continued in the 12th Plan.

She added that for the stability of the road, retaining walls are also being conducted along the Khibisa-Dagana dzong road. “Until today we have spent about Nu 45 million. We couldn’t blacktop the Drukjeygang-Khibisa road. The road has the potential to be a secondary highway, so we have wanted to study it in more detail.”

Meanwhile, Khamaed-Lunana MP Pema Drukpa asked an update on the construction of the Punakha-Gasa highway.

Since the road from Punakha to Goenshari is blacktopped, Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that the Punakha-Gasa roadwork is divided between three contractors — Geonshari to Taniko, Kotheko to Goentaegang, and Goentaegang to Baychhu.

Work from Goenshari to Taniko has been completed and blacktopped.

While 80 percent of the work between Kotheko to Goentaegang has been completed, the Goentaegang to Baychhu road is yet to start blacktopping work. “The blacktopping work has not started because it is monsoon right now which will affect the quality of the blacktopping.  After the starting of the work, we are expecting it to complete by October this year,” Lyonpo Dorji Choden said.

She added that the Baychhu-Gasa road is today damaged and require resurfacing. “However, we wanted to rework on it and today soiling and base course work is conducted.” Soiling and base course work will be completed this year.

Budget for the blacktopping of Gasa road is about Nu143 million and 48 km road have been blacktopped.

Phurpa Lhamo