Committee chairperson (MP) Ugyen Tshering

Joint Sitting endorses moving GC roads back to DoR

According to the Public Accounts Committee’s Findings on the Farm Road Development and Management in the country, from the Fiscal Year 2019-20 the responsibility for maintenance of GC road had been transferred from DoR to the Local Government with reduced maintenance budget from Nu 45,000 to Nu 30,000 per kilometer irrespective of the geological condition.

The committee chairperson Ugyen Tshering pointed out that due to a lack of competent manpower, machinery, and equipment on the part of the local government, GC, Chiwog, and farm roads are in a bad shape.

As per the findings, there is no clear distinction between a farm road, GC road, chiwog road, approach road, access road, etc

The recommendations are as per the Road Act of Bhutan 2013, DoR as a national authority needs to review strategic master plan, institutional arrangement, road classification system including GC, Chiwog and farm road development, inventory management, maintenance and oversight role in ensuring quality management system of the farm roads in the country, the condition of most of the GC roads has deteriorated across the country.

PAC recommended that the construction and maintenance of GC roads be taken over by DoR as in the past.

DoR being the National authority for all roads in the country, to review the Guidelines for Farm Road Development Revision 2019 and rationalize the length of the chiwog and farm roads to be maintained by Local Government and RUGs accordingly.

The Government to consider prioritizing the construction of bridges for the existing farm roads that have not been connected at the moment.

The House endorsed all four recommendations through a majority show of hands.

On the Review report of Performance Audit Report on Safe and Sustainable Road Transport System, the committee found that due to lack of proper infrastructure (Bus stops, bus bays, access to bus stops and bus shelters) people usually opt for private vehicles, which leads to more vehicles on the road that leads to heavy traffic jams.

If better public transport facilities are made available, it will discourage use of individual vehicles.

The committee’s recommendation to move the bus terminal at Lungtenzampa to a new location was rejected by the House after much consideration. The House included a new recommendation and endorsed both the recommendations.

The two recommendations are to improve the efficiency and reliable urban public transport system, the Government should implement Bus Rapid Transit System, improve bus and taxi stops infrastructure and information boards to be made available for travelers at the bus terminals or stops.

The Government is to come up with policy and measures for a safe and quality public transport system.

The four recommendations on the Implementation Status of the past resolutions are the geological conditions of the Punatsangchi-1 Right Bank Dam area are seen as force majeure condition of Nature, so irregularities pertaining to Dam Site development may be considered for dropping if the Barrage option gets through.

RAA to review and decide on the pending irregularities from 2010-15 with the concerned agencies and submit a status report to PAC by end of September 2022.

 Review Timber Extraction and Distribution Modality (TEDM), 2017 to enable NRDCL as a sole distributor of timber (log form) in the country. And the NRDCL should operationalize its Corporate Strategic Plan (CSP) through annual plans and enhance robust control measures and formalize the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to optimize cost efficiency and productivity.

The Joint Sitting of the Parliament adopted all the recommendations with 66 Yes, 1 No and 2 Abstentions out of 69 Members present and voting.

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