Although Department of Roads (DoR) implement road works including surveys, budgeting, monitoring they also have to consult, and address issues collectively and with the Local Government (LG), according to the works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden.
Lyonpo said this in response to Dophuchen-Tading MP Tek Bahadur Subba’s inquiry on the possibility of considering the concerns of beneficiaries as the construction of GC roads is centrally executed.
He said that the gewog, drungkhag and dzongkhag administrations were not able to explain why the contactors could not complete the roads on time, and why the roads remained blocked and not maintained during monsoon. “Can we not adopt an administration system where LGs have equal administrative responsibilities?”
In the 11th Plan, on top of constructing the National and Secondary Highways, and bridges, the DoR was tasked with additional roads construction for 205 gewogs. Following a government policy directive, the GC roads were taken up centrally by the DoR to carry out the improvement and black topping works.
Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that DoR representatives at the field offices have to attend the dzongkhag tshogdu as an observer and report on the progress of the work. “Therefore, for a centralised work, there is clear responsibility and accountability but the LG also has a role to ensure that the works happening under their jurisdiction is appropriately coordinated,” she said. “Some degree of monitoring was also tasked to the dzongkhag and gewog administration on the progress.”
She said that with the decentralisation policy and LG Act, implementations on GC roads are done by the LG and by the central agencies.
MP Tek Bahadur Subba said that today, almost all GC roads are blacktopped and that 184 GC roads would be blacktopped by the end of this year.