Chhimi Dema 

Iron Female Ox Year-MoWHS: With the repeated lockdowns in the Year of the Iron Ox, engineers and planners took to strengthening the planning and infrastructure development sector.  

Almost 18 years after implementation, the planners began reviewing the Thimphu Structural Plan (TSP) 2002 to 2027. TSP, developed in 2002, is a long-term project spanning a period of 25 years and considered a ‘living document’ to ensure proper and efficient implementation of the plan.  

The review came following the shortcomings and lack of coordination between agencies in the implementation of TSP. The review is expected to finish by 2030. The redevelopment of the Norzin Lam to align it with the revised TSP.

Taking stock of the TSP 2002 to 2027, assimilation of data, technical studies for groundwater, hydrology and meteorology, forest cover, and a seismological study have been completed so far. However, the Spatial Planning Bill is now shelved for further review. 

The Paro Development Plan and the revised precinct plan were approved in June 2021. The valley development plan, introduced in 2019, aims to promote integrated planning by keeping traditional architectures intact and the cultural landscape preserved. 

The construction of an integrated checkpoint at Bumpagang was completed for all vehicles travelling from Phuentsholing to Thimphu highway. 

The Asian Development Bank provided support of USD 24 million and USD 6 million for the construction of rental housing units in Nganglam, Phuentsholing, Samdrupjongkhar, Samtse, Thimphu, and Trashiyangtse.  

The State of the Nation report states that a total of 893.129km of farm roads were layered with granular sub-base (GSB) in 128 gewogs in the 20 dzongkhags. A total of 80.12km new farm roads were constructed adding to more than 11,200km along with the construction of 141.74km of chiwog connectivity roads.

The beginning of 2021 was tragic with the collapse of the newly constructed Damchu-Haa highway bridge causing nine lives. The cause of the collapse was unknown.