Lyonchhen inaugurates first two Bhutanese built bridges
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay inaugurated two bridges in Hejo and Dechencholing respectively on last Friday. The construction of two bridges is built entirely by Bhutanese workers, starting from engineers to manual workers employed by the Construction Development Cooperation Ltd. (CDCL), which have not involved any expatriate workers. About 85 Bhutanese people, including engineers were involved in the construction of the two bridges.
The 30-metre Dechen- choling bridge is built at a cost of Nu. 45.580 Million. And the bridge is pre-stressed concrete, one that is built with concrete beams and floor. The 40metre Hejo bridge is built at a cost of Nu. 48.855 Milliom. The bridge type of Hejo is a plate girder with RCC (reinforced ce- ment concreted) deck, which means that it will be a steel structure with concrete deck. Both the double lane bridges with a 70 metric tonne capacity were completed on time in 14 months and within the estimated cost.
Lyonchhen thanked the government of India (GoI) for funding the construction of two bridges and said, “It is a proud moment for all Bhutanese since these bridges were designed and constructed by the locals mostly youths using locally produced construction materials”. Both the double lane bridges with a 70 metric tonne capacity are funded by the government of India (GoI).
A total of 81 Bhutanese youth were involved in constructing the two bridges and to acknowledge the hard work, Lyonchen awarded certificates of appreciation to those involved in the construction. Lyonchhen and the guests also took part in planting of 108 trees nearby the bridges. Tsugla Lopen Samten Dorji from Zhung Dratsang, Lyonpo Dorji Choden, Ministry of Works and Human Settlement, Ambassador Jaideep Sarkar, Embassy of India, Members of Parliament, senior government officials and public of Hejo and Dechencholing were also presented in the inaugural session.
The manual workers were paid Nu.250 per day for two months after which they were regularized and paid Nu.14000 a month. The workers were also provided group insurance as per the Labour Act 2007. The bridges are unique as it involved purely Bhutanese manpower; took up such projects independently by Bhutanese.