Funds: The Government of India (GoI) yesterday released a cheque of Nu 1.27 billion (B) for four projects related to upgrading the northern East-West lateral highway under the 11 Plan’s Project Tied Assistance (PTA) .

The Indian embassy’s deputy chief of mission, Bishwadip Dey, handed over the cheque to the Gross National Happiness Commission’s (GNHC) secretary Sonam Wangchuk.

Under this fund, about Nu 317.2 million (M) is allocated to upgrade the Semtokha-Wangdue highway (65km), Nu 360.07M for the Wangdue-Chuersboo highway (82km), Nu 315.21M for the Trongsa- Chuersboo highway (45km) and Nu 280.64M for the Trashigang-Lingmethang highway (Yadi-Lingmethang of 86km).

The Government of India has committed Nu 45B in the 11th Plan to Bhutan. It has committed Nu 2.8B for PTA, Nu 8.5B for Programme Grant and Nu 8.5B for the Small Development Projects (SDP).

Till date, the Government of India has released Nu 12.04B for PTA projects.

The PTA projects cover education (school reform programmes), health, hydropower access roads, Royal University of Bhutan (infrastructure development) and blacktopping of gewog centre roads, among others.

GNHC secretary Sonam Wangchuk said that the government is grateful for the assistance rendered by GoI so far. “We want to wish good luck to the deputy chief who will be leaving his post next month. We will be grateful for his support.”

Thinley Zangmo