Road construction between Rinchending to Pasakha in Phuentsholing and construction of two bridges across Bhawanijhora and Bhalujhora will be retendered, works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden said.

She also said the works will be retendered since the last contractor failed to deliver the work on time.

“Works are expected to start soon under the South Asia sub-regional economic cooperation (SASEC) project,” the minister said.

Answering the Chukha’s Phuentsholing Member of Parliament (MP) Rinzin Dorji’s question on the deteriorating condition of the Singeykhola bridge, lyonpo Dorji Choden said that although the construction of the bridge has been completed, the approach road is still under construction.

MP Rinzin Dorji, during the ‘question-answer session’ on May 12, said that the new bridge over Singeychu, locally known as Singaykhola, has been under construction since the 9th Plan.

He said that although the bridge has been completed, vehicles were not allowed to ply through it. “Project Dantak was executing the work and the bridge was supposed to be in use by the first month of 2008.”

The representative said that people are still using the risky bypass bridge and the deteriorating condition of the bypass bridge has been a concern for the local residents since the last monsoon.

He said that the load capacity of the existing bypass bridge in use is 24 metric tonnes. “The government should provide a better bridge with a load capacity of about 50 metric tonnes.

The MP said that Phuentsholing is the trade centre of Bhutan and it is important to have proper infrastructure.

Citing the Kamji incident, where the road formation width of Phuentsholing-Thimphu highway was completely washed away the last monsoon, Rinzin Dorji said that it is must to have a good bridge over the Singeykhola so that the Pasakha-Darla bypass road can keep the highway open to traffic.

Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that project Dantak assured a quality bridge, which is actually built by a private construction company, will soon be handed over after the inauguration.

She said that if natural calamities occur like last year, on the order of Prime Minister the ministry has kept bailey bridge materials ready to be constructed whenever necessary.

Tashi Chophel