Road quality and safety raised in NA

A number of questions on road construction, blacktopping and widening works were raised yesterday during the National Assembly’s question hour session.

Tading-Dophuchen MP Tek Bahadur Subba questioned the minister for works and housing, Lyonpo Dorji Choden, on the how the government considered effectively using the limited dry seasonal months in a year to carry out planned works.

He asked the minister to inform the house on the availability of men and machine from the first day of the dry season to achieve planned targets on time.

Minister Dorji Choden said that this year the southern belt experienced a series of road disasters because of heavy monsoon.  She said that the government always stressed quality and while awarding works the ministry ensured that contractors have adequate manpower and resources.

“Tender agreements also demands enough men and machines to execute the works assigned,” the minister said.

She said road construction and blacktopping is not suitable during monsoon and likewise blacktopping of roads in high altitudes is not done during winter.

Panbang MP Dorji Wangdi said road conditions and widening work had greatly affected the number of tourists visiting the country.

He also asked when the monsoon restoration works of the Trongsa – Zhemgang highway, construction of Zongkholum and black topping of Gomphu-Panbang road would be completed.

Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that as soon as the monsoon season ends, officials from the ministry go to the field to determine damages and report on restoration works required. She said that this year alone the restoration works required was worth Nu 150 million.

She said that going by the need restoration works are being done in various parts of the country.

On blacktopping of roads the minister said work is in full swing and is scheduled to be completed in December this year.

On the east-west road widening works the minster said the ministry is well aware of the problem faced by both tourist and the Bhutanese commuters.

She said that the present discomfort is for future’s comfort and various measures are being put in place to make travel safe. Lyonpo said blacktopping is also being carried out and the east-west highway will be ready by 2018.


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