With the start of dry season, the construction of the South Asian Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) project of Northern Bypass Road (NBR) package-I in Phuentsholing has gained momentum. 

NBR project coordinator, Devi Charan Dhimal, from thromde said the construction works are in full swing. 

He said that works had started between the last week of September and the first week of October. 

Devi Charan Dhimal said that they have a deadline of December this year to let vehicles pass over the subway on the old road. 

At present the original route has been closed due to the subway construction and diverted from the old vegetable market shed. 

People often faced problem in this route as the blacktop works have withered. The potholes were just recently filled with soil.

There are two projects and package-I is construction of a 2 kilometres (km) road. Construction of a subway near the existing Omchhu Bridge is main component of the this project.

However, underground cables such as the electrical wires, fibre optic cables, drinking water, and sewerage lines had surfaced and disturbed the subway construction. Later, monsoon rain had kept the project further inactive. 

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has funded this project with a grant of Nu 198.48 million (M) as package-I. Phuentsholing thromde is the implementing organisation. The project is expected to complete in August 2019.

The package-I site that starts from the Second Gate are also free of any disruption, thromde officials said, and that the construction site is free for construction. 

Meanwhile, the construction of a 12o-metre bridge over Omchhu, upstream from the existing bridge, under NBR package-II, has been completed by 25 percent. The project starts from the crocodile farm site, where the package-I ends. The project was also disrupted for a long time due to land issue.

“The land issue has been resolved on September 12,” Devi Charan Dhimal said. 

The road corridor has also been established without disturbing the crocodile farm with the assistance of forestry officials. 

ADB is funding Nu 246.07M for this package and it is scheduled to complete in February 2020.

NBR project coordinator Devi Charan Dhimal said they are optimistic to complete the two packages on time. A Japanese company, M/s Marushin Shitaka Construction Company Limited and local construction firm M/s Rigsar Construction Private Limited have been awarded the work under a Joint Venture (JV) partnership. 

Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing