Expected to be completed in 20 months

In a little less than two years, the mini-dry port in Phuentsholing is expected to be ready for operation.

Following years of dialogue and land disputes, the project was finally awarded on April 18.

This dry port is one of the three South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) project components with the Phuentsholing thromde. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is funding the project with a grant.

Thromde officials said that the project was tendered out for Nu 135.85 million. A Japanese construction company, M/s Marushin Shitaka, has been awarded the contract.

Project coordinator with the thromde, DC Dhimal said that the mini-dry port was awarded as a “design and build” contract.

“This means that the contractor will design the port,” the coordinator said, explaining that the design would then be submitted to the thromde for approval.

Designs will be submitted in phases and once approved, construction will be approved and implemented. The designs are expected to be completed within five months, and construction is expected to begin simultaneously.

Clearing of the 5.4 acre plot of land for the dry port has begun.

Once the mini-dry port is operational, congestion at the current customs clearing space is expected to be eased as most trucks will then be diverted to the dry port. Traffic congestion in Phuentsholing town is also expected to be lessened.

With the dry port ready, a cargo area that will be able to accommodate more than 45 trucks would be in place. Sufficient space for customs clearance and other works related to import and export will also be available.

The dry port will be connected via the second gate from the Bau Bazaar area in Jaigaon, which is expected to ready soon. A bypass dubbed the Northern Bypass will also be constructed through the port.

The Northern Bypass is also a component of the SASEC project that is being implemented by the thromde.

The 2.66km bypass will connect Bau Bazaar in Jaigaon and the Phuentsholing-Thimphu Highway at a point located near the army camp. A 120m pre-stage curve-linear bridge will connect the road to the highway at the area over the Omchhu.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing