Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

With the first phase of the Phuentsholing Township Development Project completing by the end of this month, the much-awaited second phase has started.

Although the works in the second phase of the mega project began on November 4, the ground-breaking ceremony was held yesterday at Amochhu.

In another 30 months, the Zone A of the project (PTDP) on the Amochhu embankment would be complete.

There are two phases of Zone A – with a total of 157-acres of land reclamation and development.

Construction of the first phase included river training and embankment works. It is a project worth Nu 2.945 billion (B). The AFCONS Infrastructure Limited, an Indian-based construction company was awarded this package. Although it was expected to complete in 30 months, the Covid-19 pandemic and related limitations had a huge impact, especially on labour shortage, which delayed the project. The project started in November 2018.

Construction Development Corporation Limited (CDCL) is the implementing agency for both packages.

The total cost of Zone A is USD 93 millions (M). The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is funding a total of USD 81.2M, out of which USD 34.26M is a grant, and the remaining is on loan.  

The Druk Holding and Investments Limited (DHI), the executing agency is funding USD 11.5M into the project.

Meanwhile, the second phase work will mostly have construction of common urban infrastructure. It is also targeted to be completed in 30 months at Nu 1.748B. The contract is awarded to Kalika-Rigsar, a Joint Venture (JV) company. Rigsar is the Bhutanese contractor partner. Kalika is a Nepal-based construction firm.

The project director, Tandin Dorji, an official from CDCL said that there was a lack of adequate and suitable land for development in Phuentsholing, and PTDP is an important focus.

  The ground breaking ceremony of the second phase was held yesterday

The ground breaking ceremony of the second phase was held yesterday

“PTDP will develop around 157 acres (Zone A) of vacant riparian land adjacent to the existing Phuentsholing city along the left bank of Amochhu, and involves the construction of river walls and raising ground levels,” he said.

Tandin Dorji said PTDP will protect Phuentsholing town and the new township from floods and riverbank erosion.

Among the many important positive changes PTDP will bring about, robust economic growth and space for human settlement is the primary aim.

Phuentsholing Thrompon Uttar Kumar Rai, who attended the ground-breaking ceremony yesterday said that PTDP is an important project that will change Phuentsholing forever.

“Phuentsholing is the oldest city that contributed to the development of all other towns in the country. But its development was stagnant. Now, with PTDP, we can push for development,” he said. “It has a mega role to play.”

PTDP has a total of four Zones. The present works are under Zone A. Zone C will cover 684.3 acres of land, the highest of all the zones. It is on the other side of the Amochhu embankment.