Rinchen Zangmo | Dagana

People in Dagana are unhappy with the road widening works, as it only includes the 44kms stretch of the highway between Sunkosh and Dagapela.

Local leaders in Dagana say that leaving about 42kms stretch from Dagapela to Dagana dzong is unfair since the dzongkhag’s main administration head office is in Dagana dzong.

The issue was discussed in the last dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) conducted in September this year.

Tseza gup, Phurba, said that poor road conditions could hinder the dzongkhag’s socio-economic development activities. “Having the road widened and improved from Sunkosh to Dagana would open more opportunities for the people and the dzongkhag. If the improvement works are to happen, it needs to be done all the way through.”

DT chairperson, Kana gup Lhawang Dorji, said that it was an important issue and including the remaining stretch of about 42kms was necessary for the development of the dzongkhag.  “This should have been included in the plan.”

Kana gewog is also located near the dzong like Tseza gewog.

He said that the issue needed immediate attention and that it would be proposed as an issue from the dzongkhag during the next parliament session.

The DT members wrote to the works and human settlement ministry in October this year about the issue. It was learnt that they did not receive any response from the ministry so far.

Some locals even suggested starting the road widening works from Daga town if the budget was fixed in the 12th Plan.

Meanwhile, a resident, Chimi Wangchuk, said road-widening works could enhance greater opportunities for development in the dzongkhag. “Having a good road network means more people would want to explore the dzongkhag.”

He said that some stretches along the highway between Dagapela and Dagana are very steep and narrow with cracks.

The preliminary survey for the improvement works was completed around September this year. The road widening works is one of the activities of the ministry in the 12th Plan in the dzongkhag.

The Department of Roads (DoR) executive engineer, Pema Choeda, said that the detailed project report (DPR) for the improvement works of the highway was almost finalised. “The cost estimation of the road widening of the Sunkosh-Dagapela stretch exceeded the budget allocated. For the activity in the 12th Plan, only about Nu100 million is approved.”

At the DT, he said that the road improvement works from Dagapela to Dagana could be done in the next five-year-plan as the activities were already approved.