Samtse and Haa, two dzongkhags that have not been connected with motorable roads so far will now get a farm road which will substitute for a lateral highway for the regions.
Till now Haa and Samtse had only one option that is, walk for three days to reach Doongtoed and Denchhukha under Samtse gewog. Farmers along with cattle took a maximum of two weeks.
“To travel on foot and horseback for three days with cattle is really a Himalayan task for the farmers,” said the Doongtoed Gup Kamal Singh Rai. There were also incidents where wild animals like bear and boar attacked travelers.
Therefore the initiative materialized under the works and human settlements ministry to address these grievances. Although there is no budget allocated, the ministry has processed for a budget for the road.
Chief Engineer of MoWHS Tshering Wangdi A said that the road construction is already in the pipeline. The Department of Road (DoR) under the ministry would take up the road construction and designs.
DoR had conducted the desktop study, using topographic map and noted the length of the road and number of bridges needed.
Tshering Wangdi said the road would be taken up from Namchu Khola under Samtse dzongkhag till Gakidling under Haa Dzongkhag which would be around 25 kms.
“The exact length of the road would be ascertained only after the detail feasibility survey,” he said. Project engineers and surveyors have been deputed and surveyors placed at the sites.
The ministry has processed the environment and forest clearance from the National Environment Commission (NEC).
In the 10th Five Year Plan survey of 45 gewogs, the ministry prioritized 6 extra gewogs for road survey.
As per vision 2020, all the villages are to be provided with road facility and no villages shall be left within a distance of half a day’s walk from the nearest road head.
A major chunk of gewog roads were planned and implemented after 2008.
While, construction of the farm roads would be taken up by respective dzongkhag administrations through tender process, the DoR will carry out survey for farm roads including the survey and design of all the bridges.
As per the report provided by MoWHS, around 267 km of road was proposed for a survey; while 673 kms of road is still under survey.
The road survey for Merak and Sakten is completed and 37 kms of road towards Sakten has started while a 27 km road for Merak has completed survey.
Survey for Soe and Naro under Thimphu dzongkhag couldn’t take off though it was proposed a long time back.
Road surveys have been completed for a fourteen km road in Dungna and an 18 km road in Norbugang. Road survey for Pemagatshel is also complete.
Road survey for Dagana, Pemagatshel, Samdrup Jongkhar, and Chhukha would be taken up in the 11th Five Year Plan.