Hydro project halts township project

DHI-INFRA CEO Kinga Tshering (Picture Coutresy: Business Bhutan)
The hydropower project being a national priority, the Amochu Township project will have to wait till the hydropower project parameters are finalized.
Speaking on the current status of the Amochu Project, Kinga Tshering said the DHI- INFRA has now committed to carry out environmental impact assessment (EIA) and also revisit the hydrological studies since there had been some changes due to the hydropower project upstream.
He added that now there was also a good understanding of how the township project would be integrated with the hydropower and the private sector land owners’ concerns.
The project will also act as the anchor tenant for some of the initial land usage.
The Amochu Township reclaimed 865 acres of land along the Amochu River banks in Phuentsholing for establishment of a new city.
However, works on the Amochu project, which was to be kicked off alongside other works has been held up. According to the DHI-INFRA, further works will have to wait after the finalization of the hydropower project.
The DHI-INFRA has completed the inception report and the high level master plan including zoning of the Amochu area for the Amochu Township Project.
The Empowered Group (EG) met on 24 July, 2012 and looked into the major infrastructure projects like the Amochu, Education City, and the special economic zones.
The EG which comprises the works and human settlement minister, the economic affairs secretary, the cabinet secretariat secretary, the education secretary, the secretary of the GNH Commission, Thimphu Mayor, and the CEO of the DHI-INFRA has been further expanded.
“Given the importance and the implications of these projects the EG members have now expanded into 11 members with five government secretaries representing the EG,” said DHI INFRA CEO, Kinga Tshering.
“These are very long term projects and it will take a while till all the plans are finalized,” said the CEO.
On the Education City front, the DHI-INFRA stated that the Education City tendering works for the access road, bridge, and water supply will commence soon and deadlines will be set.
The works are to be completed within a period of 12 to 18 months with the initial budget of Nu 47mn, which released by the government and the total budget of about Nu 479mn over the course of next three years had also been worked out.
This is the first project in Bhutan for which a separate bill was put up in Parliament.
A 1000 acres land has been acquired at Wangsisina (half an hour drive from Thimphu) for the education city project.

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