The construction of a second gate that will connect Phuentsholing and Jaigaon will be completed by the end of this month.

The gate will function as an entry point between the two bordering towns.

The additional district magistrate of Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, and Bhutanese officials visited the construction site of the concrete gate at Bau Bazaar a month ago.

Phuentsholing Drungpa Karma Rinchen said the Jalpaiguri district magistrate verbally assured that the gate will be completed and launched by mid April.

“We want it to be ready as soon as possible,” the drungpa said.

Karma Rinchen also said that the director of the Department of Law and Order (DLO) and the home secretary, during their visits, advised the drungkhag office and the thromde to expedite all the required tasks without delay.

Meanwhile, the second gate is expected to allow two-way entry and exit once it is completed.

The gate is expected to help in decongesting traffic in Phuentsholing.

Heavy vehicles are expected to ply through the second gate and join the highway at the existing Omchhu bridge.

Although another bridge near the present crocodile farm has been approved by the Phuentsholing thromde in order to divert heavy vehicle traffic, it is likely that construction of the bridge will take time to complete, as the work has not yet started.

As the second gate will also have to go through Omchhu at the confluence of Amochhu near the YDF area, construction of another major bridge has been approved. “The construction was halted because the bridge design had to be changed.”

The thromde is constructing a submersible bridge so that the second gate will have road access.

Thromde officials said they floated a tender to establish offices for police, customs, forest, and the Bhutan Agriculture Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA), which will be funded by the government.

Meanwhile, the construction of the gate at Bau Bazaar in Jaigaon is ongoing. A gate from the Bhutanese side has already been installed.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing