The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Monday, July 10, 2006

No plans to join the southern districts by roads,

Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006, @ 04:36:30 EDT

National Assembly:

26 June 2006- The Assembly has directed the works and human settlement, finance and foreign ministries to study the possibilities of building a highway from Phuentsholing to Dewathang in the 10th Plan.The Trashiyangtse chimi, Chorten, had submitted that a highway from Dewathang to the commercial hub of the country would benefit the people and the business community of the eastern and central dzongkhags.
“Travelling via the Indian highway through the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal to reach western Bhutan is difficult because at times we get harassed, then there are strikes and other obstructions,” he said. “At times it takes days to complete the one day journey.”
The works and human settlement minister, Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji, said that it would cost about Nu. 3,065 million to build the highway and the government did not have that kind of money. He informed the Assembly that according to the Vision 2020 document, the second trans-national highway was to be completed by 2017, which falls at the end of the 11th Plan.
“To achieve the Vision 2020 construction of least 200 kilometres of the east-west highway should be taken up in the 10th Plan,” said the minister.
The minister added that if enough funds were available the construction of the highway would be given the highest priority.
Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji said that at present the ministry was finalising the 10th Plan programmes and it would try to include as much as possible the construction of the Dewathang-Phuentsholing highway. The Assembly also resolved that project Dantak would continue maintaining the Trashigang Samdrup Jongkhar highway and the government would take over the highway if it had enough budget and other resources to do so.


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