Manitar-Lhamoizingkha highway to cut travel time

New road to ensure safety of travellers between P’ling and Lhamoizingkha

Road: The much-awaited 53km Manitar-Lhamoizingkha highway is finally open to traffic giving Lhamoizingkha an internal road connection and reducing travel distance to Phuentsholing, Thimphu, and Samdrupjongkhar.

This will translate into savings in fuel and more importantly, bring safety to people travelling today to Lhamoizingkha through the Alipuduar highway in India.

With the new road, the travel distance between Lhamoizingkha and Thimphu is shortened by 98km. People can take the Manitar-Raidak road, which is also part of the 53km road, and connect at Gedu.

Further, the travel distance between Samdrupjongkhar and Thimphu will also be shortened by about 26km, Department of Roads (DoR) officials said. The distance between Phuentsholing and Lhamoizingkha will be reduced by 18km with the new highway. Vehicles have to take the Pasakha route.

The road connectivity will also augment income of the farmers in the remote villages of Darla and Lhamoizingkha. With access to road, villagers can go for commercial farming.

Lhamoizingkha dungpa Tashi Gyeltshen said the dungkhag administration would encourage people to focus on growing vegetables.

Retailers from Gedu and Darla also get a competitive advantage against Jaigaon dealers. Rates of many items are cheaper in the small Indian towns of Kulkuley, Hauda, and Kumargram that border with Lhamoizingkha. Businessmen can travel until Barobisha, India to avail goods at cheaper rates.

Safety is another major aspect for more than 9,000 people of Lhamoizingkha. Although there are no robbery cases reported these days, people can refrain from risks in the future.

The project coordinator of the Road Network Project (RNP) II with DOR in Gedu, Wangdi Gyeltshen said buses between Lhamoizingkha and Thimphu had already started plying the route.

“People feel more safe to travel on this route,” the project coordinator said.

The project was completed with a total funding of Nu 1.19B. The Asian Development Bank had financed Nu 734.98M as grant, while the remaining Nu 462.93M was government funding. RNP II implemented the project.

The road was officially launched on January 28 four years after it was started. Works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden graced the inauguration along with Chukha dzongdag, officials from the DoR in the Phuentsholing region, and Lhamoizingkha dungkhag administration.

Rajesh Rai, Phuentsholing

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