Connectivity: Blacktopping of gewog centre (GC) roads is well on track with 18 completed, 41 underway and 21 soon to be carried out under the Small Development Project (SDP) III.

According to the Department of Roads (DoR), the project of blacktopping GC roads will be completed by June 2018.

Blacktopping of the remaining 11 GC roads under SDP III is expected be awarded soon. In the meanwhile, tender documents for seven more are being evaluated. Works on the Metaykha GC road, the only project under SDP IV, will also be awarded soon.

“The blacktopping of 11 more gewog centre roads would be tendered soon,” an engineer from DoR said, adding that although the work has been awarded it will take at least around a month to start.

Once works on these GC roads begin, the blacktopping works for all the 92 projects under SDP and project-tied assistance (PTA) would have begun.

“Everything is on track to complete the bitumen works by the end of the Plan in June 2018,” a senior official from DoR said.

The official said that the budget of Nu 304.12 million has been released for SDP III of the total approved budget of Nu 1.013 billion. With Nu 14.9 million released, work on the Metaykha GC road under SDP IV will be tendered soon. The budget, however, covers only around 17 kilometres.

Of the 18 completed, 10 are from SDPs and eight from the Royal Government of Bhutan-funded projects. So far blacktopping of four GC roads from SDP I such as Shengana in Punakha, Tshendona in Paro and Drujaygang have been completed.

From SDP II, bitumen works on six have been completed on gewog centres roads like Lamgong in Paro, Gangzur in Lhuentse, Khar in Pemagatshel, Phongmey and Radhi in Trashigang. Though eight Royal Government of Bhutan funded projects were also completed, those were mostly shorter in distance covering 1-2 kilometres like Chokhor and Chumey in Bumthang, Trong in Zhemgang, Saling in Mongar and Kawang in Thimphu.

Among the 41 on-going projects, 16 are under PTA such as Tang in Bumthang, Kurtoe in Lhuentse, Drametse in Mongar and Serthi in Samdrup Jongkhar. Rest of the GC roads are under SDP II and I, including gewogs like Dorona in Dagana, Jarey in Lhuentse and Toedtsho in Trashiyangtse.

Works on the recently awarded blacktopping projects in Chali and Balam in Mongar, Dotoe in Paro, Pemathang and Lanchenphug in Samdrup Jongkhar and Serzhong in Sarpang will begin in about a month’s time  from now.

Tempa Wangdi