Works and Human Settlement Minister Dorji Choden said that the Chukha-Damchu bypass would open to traffic by June 2018.

Dorji Choden said the latest report from the chief engineer of Project Dantak and second-in-command revealed the full width formation cutting would finish by the end of this month.

The project has completed about half of the formation cutting. “I have told them that Project Dantak must now keep their words,” said the minister, adding that the pavement would be completed by October this year.

Sirupachhu bridge and Jangtalungchhu bridge will be completed. However, the Tanalungchhu bridge is likely to take time.

“The Tanalungchhu bridge is about 145 metres long. The bridge will only be completed by June 2018 and will almost take a year. On another bridge at Jangtalung, Project Dantak, is aiming to complete by November or December this year,” said the minister.

The minister said that the main impeding factor for completion of the bypass was the rocky cliff which is about 900 metres, half a kilometre from the Phuentsholing-Thimphu highway. “They [Project Dantak] have to apply controlled blasting. So the progress is slow. One of the main factors for the delay of the work is the rock.”

The minister added that assigning contract for the construction of bridge took a long time.

“It’s a perennial problem that we have been facing. It is not that we are neglecting the problem. We are in constant touch with Dantak.  There have been public and media pressure on the completion dates,” she said.

The construction of the bypass started on March 19, 2010. The bypass will decrease the Thimphu – Phuentsholing highway by 19.5km.

Rinchen Zangmo