First Bhutanese-built bridge inaugurated

Infrastructure: Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay inaugurated the Hejo zam and Dechencholing zam in Thimphu yesterday. The government of India funded the construction of both the bridges.

The Construction Development Corporation Ltd (CDCL) designed and constructed the two bridges in February last year.

Lyonchoen said that all Bhutanese should be proud that the bridges were completed in time and within the approved budget. Bhutanese should be more proud since both the bridges were designed and constructed by Bhutanese workers using locally produced construction materials.

More than 60 Bhutanese workers including Vocational Training Institute (VTI) and Apprenticeship Training Programme (ATP) graduates constructed the bridges.

A soft-spoken VTI graduate from Trashigang, Tashi Zangmo, 21, said that if Bhutanese youth are willing to do something, there is nothing that they cannot do. She said some question her choice and look down on her for working at a construction site but there are also many who praise her for being willing to work as a construction worker, she added.

“It’s an opportunity for me to get to construct the bridge and I enjoy my work,” Tashi Zangmo said. “I will continue to work at the construction site.”

Thimphu Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that the thromde had awarded the work to construct a permanent double lane arch bridge between Pamtsho and lower Taba to CDCL because the corporation had done a good job in constructing the two bridges and also for making Bhutanese youth workers capable by providing them with training in various construction skills besides employing them.

The approved budget for the Hejo zam was Nu 49 million (M) while the bridge was completed in February this year at a cost of Nu 48.86M. Meanwhile, Nu 38.6M was approved for a road rigid pavement, resurfacing and replacement of the bailey bridge near the Wood Craft Centre.

The construction of the Dechencholing zam was completed in May this year at a cost of Nu 45.58M while the approved budget was Nu 46M.

The span of the steel plate girder bridge in Hejo and prestressed concrete bridge in Dechencholing are 40 and 30 metres respectively.

Lyonchoen explained that the completion of the two bridges is indicative that Bhutanese know how to build bridges. Therefore, it is important that such works by Bhutanese continue and expand.

Lyonchoen urged contractors to employ Bhutanese youths for construction works like building of bridges and houses. Lyonchoen also promised that the government would contract work to companies employing Bhutanese youth.

The Tsugla Lopen of the Zhung Dratshang, Samten Dorji; India’s ambassador to Bhutan, Jaideep Sarkar; works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden, members of parliament; officials from various organisations and Hejo and Dechencholing residents attended the inaugural ceremony.

Following the inauguration, Lyonchoen and the guests planted around 216 tree saplings near the bridges.

Lyonchoen also awarded certificates of appreciation to those involved in the construction of the bridges.

Dechen Tshomo

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