Following National Council’s (NC) December 4 resolution, the works and human settlement ministry has arranged budget of Nu 15 million (M) to blacktop the Chuzomsa-Baylangdra feeder road in Wangdue.

However, with the available budget, only 3km of the 22-km road would be blacktopped.

NC resolved that the government and the ministry must honour the decision of the Parliament. When the Parliament during the 9th session endorsed the national budget for financial year 2017-2018, Nu 130.441M was included in the road sector activity to be funded by the Government of India (GoI).

The approved budget was to blacktop the road, the take-up point for the roads to the three gewogs of Nisho, Kazhi, and Phangyuel that are already blacktopped.

However, the Department of National Budget later informed the ministry that this particular activity was not under the GoI funding. Neither was the budget allocated to blacktop this road and that it was reflected in the budget proposal because of clerical mistake.

The 22-km feeder road benefits more than 4,000 people in the three gewogs, including devotees who come on pilgrimage to Baylangdra Nye.

Road Director, Tenzin, said that the ministry is trying its best to honour the NC’s decision and have been consistently following up with activities.

“We’ve even called tender,” Tenzin said. “But we’re still looking for fund to blacktop about 9km that would go to Kazhi gewog.”

Tenzin added the ministry has already written to finance ministry for another Nu 25M, which if approved, would be able to complete the entire road.

Earlier a ministry official had said that it was the ministry’s mistake:  “Usually, before submitting the final proposal, agencies will discuss budget that are under government funding but do not verify an activity if it is under donor funding. In this particular activity, discussion was missed out because it was listed under the GoI, which is usually approved.”

NC members had asked if the activity was not included in the budget then where was the money allocated for the project.

Tenzin said that since the activity was a mistake, there was no fund allocated for the plan at all.

Yangchen C Rinzin