Tashi Dema

Joining the people as the chief guest at the Changlimithang to celebrate the auspicious 40th birth anniversary of His Majesty The King, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said 2020 is a historic year for the country.

“His Majesty turns 40. It is a new step into a new decade. We rejoice the day a visionary King came into our lives, four decades ago,” said the prime minister.

Lyonchhen said that the country would celebrate the 40th birth anniversary of His Majesty The King for a year with various government initiated projects and programmes.

Re-dedicating to work towards His Majesty’s aspirations for the country and calling for unity in serving the King, Lyonchhen said the government formed a committee, comprising of representatives from all age groups to discuss the way forward to serve the country.

He said it is a historic year for Bhutanese, as it is a preparation year for the Gyalsung programme. “It will also be a year when Gyalsey will have a Royal sibling.”

Announcing government’s plans live from Changlimithang, he said a national committee is drafting the 21st economic road map. “To develop the economy, motorable road is important, particularly roads that link the north to south.”

The Prime Minister said that while most parts of the country are connected with roads, work would soon begin to construct a road from Sherichu to Kurigongri confluence to complete the north-south link. 

On the need to relook at urban planning, Lyonchhen sad that the government will review Thimphu city master plan and study into the possibility of a new town planning covering areas from Dodena in Thimphu to Drugyel dzong in Paro along the Pachhu and Wangchhu. “We will have experts to study the feasibility.”

The prime minister announced that the Lungtenzampa will be renovated and footpaths along Norzin lam will be redeveloped. “A tech park will be constructed in Bongdengma in Mongar like the tech park in Thimphu this year.”

According to the Prime Minister, a third internet gateway would be connected this year. “We will start a vocational institute, Bhutan Institute of Technology, to reform technical and vocational education training and provide necessary skills to youth. We have already identified the person who will spearhead the project.”

The prime minister also said that an electric train link, part I, from Thimphu to Paro will start this year.

It was learnt that the feasibility study for the electric train service was conducted since 2010 and the actual works would be initiated this year with funds mobilised after drawing estimates.

The prime minister also announced the launch of patient Referral by Air where all patients referred to Indian will avail the air service and not travel by road from Phuentsholing.

“We will ensure treatment to all patients within the country by constructing a hospital with all specialists. Starting today, all patients referred to India will be provided air travel service. All these are kurims to His Majesty from the government and people,” he said.

Lyonchen also announced that the kidney transplant services will be provided in the country from this year.

The prime minister urged all Bhutanese to promise to do three simple things to serve the King and the country. He urged all Bhutanese to plant a tree each, adopt a stray dog and take care of own waste in the next 12 months. “This is the best gift to His Majesty,” he said.