Thimphu- Trashigang high way to be widened under assistance from GoI
The 546km of Thimphu- Trashigang high way will be widened very soon as the proposal for the widening of road was approved by the Government of India ( GoI) in the third Plan Talk held in the Capital on 11th September, 2014. The GoI will be funded under the project tied assistance (PTA) and the estimated budget stands at about Nu 7.2B and the tentative approved budget for the 11th plan is Nu 4.6 B for the highway widening.
The up-gradation of works will be carried out in the five stretches, namely; SimtokhaWangdue with 65km, Wangdue-Chuserbu with 82km, Chuserbu-Trongsa with 45km, TrongsaNangar with 55km and Lingmethang-Trashigang with 138km but 52km of widening works from Trashigang-Yadi will be executed by Project Dantak and the remaining will be executed by Trashigang Regional Office.
During the consultative meeting organized by Ministry of Works and Human Settlement to familiarized the contractors on the scope of works in up-gradation of North East- West highway from Simtokha to Trashigang which was held Thursday, Minister for Works and Human Settlement, Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that the widening of ThimphuTrashigang high way is not included in the 11th five year plan. But the government have priorities for the road because all the commuters for eastern and centre region use these highways. Moreover the development of the hydropower is routed through this road, that’s way we have decided to widen the highway.
Since the construction of road requires huge amount of budget and the manpower, Lyonpo confirmed that the required budgets and the manpower are ready.
Lyonpo said that, the contractor should be responsible and maintain the quality of works moreover the contractor should not consider that the works given to them as KIDU .
During the meeting, Lyonchhen informed to the contractors to think properly while bidding the work and contractors should not bid with low capital just to get the contract work, as they can’t do the contract work with low capital.
With related to the payment of the bill, even after the completion of the work and the bills are being paid, the contractor didn’t get the payment for the work on time as it had incidences before Lyonchhen said that if such incidence happened to the contractors, he said that he will himself monitor such cases.
During the consultative meeting, the Chief Engineers of the concerned field offices briefed the prospective contractors on the number of contract packages that they would be floated by them.
Since the project needs to be completed within 3 years and they have lots of works, respective regional office of Chief Engineer said that they would be tendered soon and they said that they had divided the work into packages.
During the presentation, Secretary of Works and Human Settlement, Dasho (Dr) Sonam Tenzin said that the widening of the road should be completed within the 11th plan and the contractor should be plan accordingly.
He also said that the ministry will be conducting quarterly meeting with the contractors in different location to access the progress of the work and to share the contractor’s problems with regards to the work.
Initially the widening works were planned till Chuserbu due to lack of required funds. Thus, the widening works in some section was carried out between Simtokha and Wangdue (Thinleygang) during the last financial year.
The North East-West highway is highly used by the people of east and in recent years, numbers of vehicle have increased drastically. The government has accorded high priority to widen the east west highway such that a traveler is able to reach Trashigang and vice versa under 12 hours.
Since the condition of the road is very poor eastern regions are not favored by many tourists in their travel plan. Therefore it is the desire of the government to target tourists to drive along the North East-West highway and make the comfortable joyous ride as a tourism product itself.
Since the project needs to be completed within three years from now, the meeting had expected to prepare contractors intending to bid for the work to acquaint with the sites and prepare to mobilize all the required machineries and the equipment.
Meanwhile, the upgradation works for the stretches will be fall within the jurisdiction of Thimphu, Lobeysa, Trongsa and Trashigang Regional office.