Now that the DoR has completed the survey, Project DANTAK will take over the construction work

Road: Widening work on the 49km Trashigang-Yadhi highway is slated to start by next month with survey work now completed.

The highway is a part of the ongoing northern east-west highway widening project, which, when complete, is expected to reduce the travel time  from Thimphu to Trashigang by a day.  Today, it takes two days to travel to Thimphu from Trashigang.

While the survey was carried out by the department of roads (DoR), execution of the widening work will be taken up by project DANTAK.  DoR division office in Trashigang has already submitted the survey report to the headquarters in Thimphu and work will soon be officially handed over to project DANTAK.

According to project DANTAK officials, they have already estimated a portion of the budget and submitted the details to DoR.  Chief engineer, brigadier Panchanathan, said that DoR has already sanctioned the work and they are waiting to formally take over.

“We’ve acquired the environmental clearance and expect the work to double lane the highway from junction Kheri to Yadhi by mid of May,” he said.

Project DANTAK has opened a separate construction company in Kanglung to monitor the construction activities.

The works have been divided into four packages and Project DANTAK will begin with packages I and II that stretch from the junction at Kheri until 25km towards Yadhi.

The highway, once complete, will have upgraded specifications of a primary highway.  For instance, the existing black topping on the road is only about 2.5cm thick, which will now be increased to 9cm.

The total width of the road will be increased from the prevailing 6.5m (on an average) to 10.5m.  The actual area of black topping on the road is about 3.75m wide currently.  This would be further widened to 6.5m.

“The recurrent curves along the highway will be smoothened, while new bridges will also replace the existing ones along the highway,” brigadier Panchanathan said.

The estimated budget has been divided into two financial years.  Although the overall budget is yet to be worked out, the estimated budget for packages I and II amount to about Nu 660 million.

The chief engineer added that the rocky terrain and huge boulders could pose a challenge during the construction.

“There are certain patches along the stretch where the cutting works would cause some sliding, but we’ll take care of it,” he said. “The works are expected to complete by 2018.”

By Tshering Wangdi,  Trashigang