Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Applying blacktop on the last 19-km stretch between Haa-Samtse Secondary National Highway would complete in the next fiscal year, according to the Works and Human Settlement Minister Dorji Tshering.

He said this in response to the query from Sombaykha MP Dorjee Wangmo during the question hour session in the National Assembly yesterday.

Although the blacktopping works, which started in 2019 benefited many people and those pilgrims visiting Rangtse Nye, the MP said there were problems in many areas during the summer.

“There are many portions between Jenkana and Sangbay drungkhag and Namchukhola that have not been blacktopped. It has been some time now. Small and medium vehicles find it difficult to ply in the summer,” she said.

Lyonpo Dorji Tshering said that the remaining 19km road falls between Namchukhola and Rangtse. “It will be blacktopped in the next fiscal year.”

Lyonpo also said that this remaining stretch is left from the a total of 140-kms Samtse-Haa national highway.

Besides this stretch, Lyonpo said the government had spent a huge amount to develop and upgrade the road from Weezirgang in Samtse to Namchukhola in Haa. “Bigger vehicles can ply on that stretch now.”

The minister also said that there is a potential for a bypass road from Dorokha to Samtse, according to Dorokha drungkhag.

“We are preparing for the funds. After this bypass, the 140-km Haa-Samtse road will be reduced by 30km.”

Meanwhile, Lyonpo also stressed the importance of the Haa-Samtse road.

“If Thimphu-Phuentsholing road comes across a problem, Thimphu and other places will face a big problem,” he said. “Keeping this in mind that there might be problems on the Phuentsholing-Thimphu highway, Haa-Samtse road was initiated.”

Lyonpo Dorji Tshering said the former governments understood the significance and importance of this road and prioritised it. “The current government understands and prioritises it.”