Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

Coinciding with the 114th National Day, the widening and improvement of the 7.3km Kurizampa- Gyelpozhing road began yesterday.

The road is part of the vital network that connects five eastern dzongkhags to the growing economic hubs of Gyelpozhing and Nganglam towns and to the vast Indian market.

Inspired by His Majesty The King’s encouragement for youth to come forward to build our nation better and stronger out of the pandemic, DeSuung, in partnership with the Ministry of Works and Human Settlements (MoWHS), initiated the road construction.

The road construction follows the highly successful water projects implemented by de-suups in all 20 dzongkhags over the past year.

The DeSuung National Service project is building capabilities of the de-suups to construct roads so that they can become skilled workers, competent supervisors, effective managers and capable contractors in the future.

The project has recruited a road designer, a project manager, and an engineer from a well-reputed Japanese company to train the de-suups and oversee the project.

According to a press release, the objective is to benchmark the quality of road construction to leading international standards with adequately designed road geometry, slope protection, drainages, cross drainage, and proper road signs.

The pilot project also seeks to demonstrate the capability of Bhutanese to undertake infrastructure projects that are completed at cost and on time.

“Under normal circumstances and the existing timeline, the widening of the 7.3km road is estimated to take more than 20 months but the project aims to complete the project in 12 months through meticulous planning, mechanization, and by having two shifts per day to speed up the work,” the press release stated.

It also stated that given the profound Royal Vision, the ambitious scope and the pioneering challenge, more than 100 de-duups have signed up for the pilot project that will integrate in-class sessions with on-the-job training at the site. “Twelve de-suups are currently being trained in operating heavy machines for road construction.”

Department of Roads Director General Tenzin, expressed full confidence in the successful execution of the project based on the enthusiasm and commitment of de-suups in executing water projects.

He also expressed optimism that the road project will have positive spillover in improving many other aspects of the construction sector besides skilling the de-suups in road construction.

Zhabtog Lyonpo Dorji Tshering, who inaugurated the construction, said the project initiated under the Royal Command marks the milestone for quality construction with the use of modern technology.

He said there is not a single paver, park mill, and road roller operator essential for blacktopping the road in the country today. “Towards the end of the project, many skilled labourers are expected to be produced to meet the rising demand in the construction industry.”

Meanwhile, the Gyalpoizhing residents and commuters are thrilled and excited by the news.

A Gyalpoizhing resident, Tshering Wangdi, said it’s an important road where hundreds of vehicles ply every day. “But it’s been quite a long time since we have been travelling through the narrow stretch of road filled with potholes and I am excited by the news.”