SASEC projects: Decongesting Phuentsholing and making it more business friendly

A completed Mini-Dry Port will make customs clearance easier for trucks

The South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) project with Phuentsholing Thromde consist’s of three components- construction of Mini-Dry Port (MDP), construction of Northern Bypass Road (NBR) and construction of Allay Land Customs Station (ALCS) at Pasakha.

The construction of MDP has been completed and is ready to operate. The construction of NBR was started in September 2017 and will be completed in February 2020.

Meanwhile, the construction works for ALCS is yet to be awarded. For now, works to finalize the design, drawing, and cost estimation are in the process.

ADB is funding all the three components as grant and consultancy work (design and supervision) for all the three components were carried out by SMEC (Australian based Co.) in association with Gyeltshen Consultancy Company.

Mini-Dry Port (MDP)

The MDP was constructed in 5.4 acres of land after several dialogues and land disputes in the past. The MDP is located near the second gate and it connects to the NBR.

The construction was started in April 2017 and was completed in January 2019 and the work was assigned to Japanese Construction Company called Marushin Shitaka Construction Company.

He said that the main objective of having the MDP is mainly to take all the customs clearance in the new location and is also to streamline all the tax collection, which the RRCO is doing currently.

He said that “Everything will now happen in a professional manner and it can accommodate around 50 trucks for customs clearance for imports and exports of goods entering and exiting through Phuentsholing”.

Project coordinator of SASEC, Devi Charan Dhimal said that Thromde implemented the work and for now they have completed the construction but will soon be handed over to Trade Department, Ministry of Economic Affairs for operation.

The MDP will provide various facilities like cold storage, seized goods house, transshipment shed for container goods, separate store for risky goods and Weigh Bridge which was lacking in the existing port, he added.

Asian Development Bank funded 81 percent of the total project, while the rest is being funded by RGoB. In total, they have funded Nu 134.85 mn.

Northern Bypass Road (NBR)

NBR is the construction of 2.7 KM four-lane road and 120 meters curvilinear bridge. The construction of NBR will be done in two packages, while the first package will be completed in August 2019 (2 KM) and the remaining 0.7 KM will be completed next year.

Devi Charan Dhimal said that the main objective of the Northern Bypass Road (NBR) is to divert all the heavy traffics from the main town area in order to decongest the core town area.

The construction of NBR starts from Gurudhohar and it will then go through the bridge (under construction) near youth building in Amochu, near the junction that takes towards Samtse-Phuentsholing national highway.

“From there, it will go up straight towards bus stand and after crossing the current crocodile firm, the120 mt four-lane curvilinear bridge will be connected to the right side of the Omchu River. The bridge will connect to the RBA band and then to Phuentsholing-Thimphu highway”, he said.

He added that in future once the NBR is completed, people would enjoy the decongestion of the traffic, which is the main issue at the moment.

The work was assigned to Marushin Shitaka Construction Company and Rigsar Construction (JV).

Allay Land Customs Station (ALCS)

Vehicle (consignment) plying to Pasakha can directly travel from the Indian side and upon reaching the India-Bhutan border area, ALCS will facilitate the commuters and carry out all the necessary requirements.

He said that the construction work of ALSC will soon be awarded and once complete, it would be easier for the commuters as they will not have to travel all the way from Bhutan via Rinchendhing.

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