The three bridges have expired their lifespan

AID: To reconstruct the Chuzomsa and Nikachu bridge in Wangduephodrang and Zalam Chu bridge between Trongsa and Wangduephodrang, the Japanese government has committed Nu 978 million (1 billion and 956 million Japanese Yen).

The exchange of notes for the project – “Project for Reconstruction of bridges on primary national highway 1” was signed yesterday in New Delhi between ambassador of Japan to Bhutan, Takeshi Yagi and Bhutan’s ambassador to Japan, General Vestop Namgyel.

Department of Roads officials earlier said the reconstruction of bridges was necessary as the lifespan of the existing bridges have expired and they’re in critical condition besides the increase in traffic flow on the highway.

Japan’s assistance to Bhutan marked the 50th anniversary last year since the dispatch of the late Dasho Nishioka to the country in 1964.

“We will continue to extend our maximum support to Bhutan in such areas as agriculture and basic infrastructure, where Bhutan aims to achieve self-reliance from external assistance by 2020,” a press release from the Japanese embassy stated.

“In Bhutan, a largely mountainous country, roads and bridges play the most basic and critical role in transportation for socio-economic activities in Bhutan. Therefore, our cooperation to Bhutan focuses on basic infrastructure as well as agriculture.”

JICA has so far built over 19 bridges across the country, of which 16 are along the lateral highway and three are farm road bridges.

The release states that primary national highway No.1 is an important road, which connects the east and the west of Bhutan. “This time the government of Japan has decided to extend the grant aid to the reconstruction of the bridges that were constructed in 1980s and have been degraded.”

“The government of Japan hopes that the grant aid will facilitate smooth traffic and distribution thus improving the quality of life of the people and advance the socio-economic activities in Bhutan, and will further develop the friendly and cooperative relationship between Japan and Bhutan.”

Staff Reporter