The capital budget allocation for Thimphu Thromde in the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP) is Nu 5 Billion (bn) where the main priorities are road, bridge, public transportation, parking, water and sewerage among others, according to Thimphu Thrompon, Kinlay Dorjee.
According to the Thimphu Thrompon, redesigning and reconstruction of Lungtenzampa Bridge, which is about 32 years old, is the Thromde’s top priority.
Thrompon said, “The bridge will be built on the same location but with the better design. We will not just build the bridge to let the cars ply, but it will facilitate traffic circulation.”
According to the Thrompon, Nu 800-900 million is being allotted for the redesigning of bridge. However, the work on redesigning of bridge is yet to start.
“When we say that we will redesign the bridge, there are many things we have to work out. We are saying that we have to relocate the fuel depot (BOD) at Lungtenzampa to make the bridge feasible, but we have to do survey and studies to let people know on how important it is to relocate the BOD and if we don’t, what are the things that would go wrong. For now, we have just said that we need to relocate the fuel depot but no ground studies have been carried out, and so we will redesign the bridge and that could be one tool to relocate the BOD,” the Thrompon said.
Thimphu Thromde aims to design and construct the bridge within the five years. “If we are not able to do this now, Thimphu thromde will be in a mess, congestion will be manifold by end of next five years,” Kinlay Dorjee said.
Thrompon said the redesigning and reconstruction of the bridge was discussed couple of years ago as a part of the bridge is sinking. He added, “We realized that we need to redesign the bridge with the increase in the number of vehicle and traffic congestion resulting from increasing number of vehicle.”
Thimphu Thromde aims to provide safe and affordable public transport in the coming years. The number of buses will be increased and bus routes will also be changed. However, the budget for public transportation is not included in the Nu 5 bn allocation, but it will seek the budget is from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MOIC).
Thrompon said, “Currently, we have only 46 buses. But by the end of five year, we will have around 100 buses to ply and that can meet our time of 10 minutes interval. This should happen in 2 to 3 year because we cannot wait any longer, and if we do, everyone will buy cars which will make the situation even worse.”
At the same time, he said, “We will make parking rule very strict to reduce congestion in the core town areas. We will not allow parking on the road and in designated parking area, parking fees shall be collected and there will not be any space where people can perk for free.”
He said that after the completion of the multi-level car parking (MLCP I and MLCP II) in June 2019, Thimphu Thromde will remove all the parking space along the Norzin Lam in order to reduce the traffic congestion in core town areas.
To ease traffic congestion, Thrompon said, “Thromde will be building overhead bridges and under passes along the pedestrian crossing.”
He said, “We have completed construction of expressway from Druk School to Changbangdu and it will continue till Debsi which will be completed within five years. Right now we are working on the clearances from private and public institutions.”
Thromde will construct three water treatment plants and one wastewater treatment plant within five years.
Thrompon said, “We may have few water treatment plants in Samtenling, Ngabiphu and Chamgang to make Thimphu’s water supply more reliable. If we are to provide 24 hours water supply, we need to have additional water treatment plants in three location.”
“We will also come up with one sewerage treatment plant or wastewater treatment plant for Jungzhina, Pamtsho and Hejo Samtenling,” he added.