Prime minister says East-West highway is important

During the question hour session the Kilkhorthang- Mendrelgang representative, MP Yogesh Tamang asked the Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay on the importance of proper developmental planning as the Government of India (GoI) has been a major development partner since 1961.

He said that 546 Km long Thimphu to Trashigang double lining works which is under construction is being funded by GoI. However, he said that it has been observed that such an important project estimated to cost over Nu 6bn was not included in the 11th Five Year Plan (FYP).

Therefore, he said asked Lyonchhen if the implementation of double lining of East-West high way was at the cost of other development plans and                programs that are already in the 11th FYP.

Responding to the question, Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said that the construction of the East-West high way will require a lot of money but there will be no interruption to the other development plans and programs that are already in the 11th FYP.

He said that the East-west high way double lining has been included in the 11th FYP but it is to have two vehicles plying at the time. He said that Kheri -Yadi, Wangdi- Chhuzagu and Simtokha-Wangdi are only included in the 11th FYP to widen the roads. He further said that for that purpose the amount allocated is Nu 1.3bn.

Lyonchhen said that the East-West highway is necessary for increasing economic make self the country reliant and for the local community development and connectivity.

Lyonchhen also said that the Kheri-Yadi road is not meant for renovation but for widening and similarly Wangdi- chhuzagu and Simtokha-Wangdi, Trongsa-Chhuzagu high way was also finalized to make them wider. The stretch is about 45 km.

Similarly Lyonchhen said that Trongsa-Nager and 138 km highway between Trashigang and Limithang has also been finalized for double lining.

According to Lyonchhen in the 11th FYP Nu 1.3bn has been allotted for the purpose of roads and highway development and the improvement of Thimphu – Trashigang, highway would entail a total of about Nu 6bn. Lyonchhen also said that to initiate the work Nu 4.6bn has been finalized      by GoI and the works have already began.

Lyonchhen shared that once the double lining of Thimphu-Trashigang highway is completed, the truck which takes 20 hours making the journey is expected to take about 14 hours which would allow people from six eastern dzongkhag to come to the capital for any work.

Lyonchhen said that during 10th FYP the total amount allotted for development in the country was Nu 148bn and the in 11th FYP the amount allotted has increased to 213bn.

Lyonchhen added that for new development purposes 92bn has been allocated and Bhutan was granted Nu. 45bn by GoI and with those amount 86 big projects, 300 small project and 400 more projects would be started in the country.

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