Infrastructure: Japanese companies will construct four double-lane bridges on the Trongsa-Sarpang national highway worth USD 18.4 million.

JICA chief representative Koji Yamada and Gross National Happiness Commission representative Rinchen Wangdi signed the grant aid agreement for the reconstruction of the bridges project between the two governments yesterday.

The project will construct bridges at Telegangchu in Trongsa, and Beteni, Samkhara and Passang in Sarpang.

Roads department director Karma Galay said that with the construction of the bridges, trucks carrying heavy machinery for hydropower constructions could ply on the  Trongsa-Sarpang national highway.

Koji Yamada said the bridge construction projects are expected to transfer technology and knowledge to local construction companies and engineers.

“The construction companies work with due consideration for environment, safety of the employees, and the commuters along the highway,” Koji Yamada said. “The process of the construction is based on good practices.”

The local construction companies will be invited to share the construction process of the Japanese.

The project proposal was discussed and submitted to the government of Japan during the ninth bilateral annual consultation in 2014.

The government of Japan will float a tender for the works in June next year.

Since 2007, the Japanese government has supported the construction of 22 bridges. Three of them are under construction on the East-West Highway.

Rinchen Wangdi said Japan has helped Bhutan’s development since 1964 and has funded some critical projects in the 11th Plan.

The Japanese government committed assistance of USD 84 million for projects in vital sectors such as agriculture, bridges, local governance, health and telecommunications in the 11th Plan.

Bhutan and Japan celebrated the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries this year.

Tshering Palden