The World Bank is funding the project at a cost of Nu 252 million 

Urbanisation: Residents in Taba will have improved roads, footpaths, streetlights and underground sewerage and drinking water facilities by the end of 2019.

The work for the construction of the urban infrastructure at Taba Local Area Plan (LAP) under the second Bhutan Urban Development Project began with the ground breaking ceremony yesterday.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay during the ground breaking ceremony, stressed on building quality infrastructures that will last for generations. “Taba is one of the happy and beautiful places in Thimphu.”

The work is contracted to Marushin Shitaka Construction, a Japanese company that deals with infrastructure development works.

“We have adequate funds and the best contractors for the project, and the government will support the work,” Lyonchoen added.

He said that it is the responsibility of the contractors to build infrastructures that can be set as an example to the world, while Thimphu thromde is responsible to assess the quality of the work.

Of about 78 acres of land in Taba LAP, about 22 acres are from land pooling, for the developmental work.

Lyonchoen urged the engineers, contractors and Thimphu thromde committee to work responsibly so that the huge amount of funds invested for the development of Taba and the contributions made by the landowners don’t go to waste.

Lyonchoen also urged landowners not to destroy the basic infrastructures like road and drainage systems when building houses.

“The project is an opportunity for the residents in Taba to make the community an example yenlag thromde,” Lyonchoen said. “I will personally visit the site frequently.”

The World Bank has been financing urban development projects in the country for more than a decade.

The World Bank’s resident representative, Yoichiro Ishihara, said that the second urban development project totaling USD 30M focuses on supporting urban and municipal development in Thimphu and Phuentsholing. The project also provides technical assistance including Bhutan’s municipal reform programme by strengthening municipal finance.

“The ground breaking ceremony today is an important step for urban development in Thimphu,” Yoichiro Ishihara said. “Managing urbanisation is one of the areas that Bhutan can share its experience with the rest of the world.”

Yoichiro Ishihara said that Bhutan is well ahead of other countries to use land pooling to manage and harness urbanisation for growth and development.

The World Bank recently published a book titled “What Makes a Sustainable City” to showcase cities in developing countries that are implementing bold ideas to achieve environmental, economic and social sustainability.

Thimphu’s experience in land pooling was selected as one of the 16 case studies in the publication.

Thimphu Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that with the city’s development and increasing number of residents, the city faces frequent cleanliness, water and road problems. Realising the issues of many places that need development in the country, Taba was chosen for the project for which the residents should thank His Majesty The King and the government, he said.

“Thromde and community committee have to work together to monitor the quality of the work,” the thrompon said. “Since the facility is for the community, supporting the construction work and taking care of the infrastructures are in our hand.”

The duration of the project is 30 months.

Dechen Tshomo