Dechen Dolkar

The construction of the 51-kilometer Wanakha-Haa highway, originally set to be completed by March, is now projected to conclude by September of this year.

Project Dantak is constructing  the Damchu-Haa road, a project initiated in 2018. The total budget allocated for this endeavor is Nu 2.5 billion, generously funded by the Government of India.

Chief Engineer of Project Dantak, Brigadier Jaswinder Singh, has confirmed that all formation cutting of the road and permanent works have been successfully accomplished.

Presently, only the blacktopping of around 21 kilometres and the installation of drainage systems remain outstanding tasks.

The project has completed the construction of 167 culverts along the highway.

Project Dantak has delegated specific tasks, such as bridge construction and blacktopping, to local contractors in three segments of the total 51 kilometres, which are divided into 20 kilometres, 10 kilometres, and 21 kilometres respectively.

Chief engineer said that the construction of the 21-metre-long bridge, which is being carried out by local contractors, is nearing completion and is anticipated to be finished by the end of this month.

He noted that the initial segment of 20 kilometres of blacktopping was completed approximately a year ago. The second segment, spanning 10 kilometres, is on track to be finalised by the conclusion of April.

Nonetheless, the remaining 21 kilometres, which were assigned to a local contractor in April last year with an initial completion deadline set for March this year, encountered delays.

These delays stemmed from the contractor’s assertion of not receiving government clearance until November last year.

Chief engineer said that the contractor claimed to have received clearance only in November last year, with work commencing just a month and a half ago.

“We are anticipating completion by September and October this year. I have also urged the contractor to prioritise blacktopping in areas with settlement to alleviate dust for residents,” Brigadier Jaswinder Singh said.

Project Dantak has erected double-lane modular bridges at Tshaphel and Kana villages, accomplished within a swift three-month construction period.

Project Dantak intends to widen the 28-kilometre road from Chuzom to Dawakha with a proposed budget of Nu 1.5 billion.

The project currently employs 1,600 Indian workers and 1,400 national workers, with 900 of them being Bhutanese women.

Ensuring fair compensation, the project maintains a minimum salary of Nu 15,750, with plans for a 5 percent raise starting next month.

Project Dantak is also engaged in the construction of the 58-kilometres Samrang to Jomotshangkha highway, as well as the 17.5-kilometres stretches from Khotakpa to Tshobaley and Nganlam to Dewathang highway.