Delays in budget release have left the construction of gewog connectivity roads, assigned to the Department of Road (DoR) under Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS), incomplete or stalled.
Six projects were undertaken by DoR, which includes Jhomotshangkha-Lauri in Samdrup Jhongkhar with a stretch of 58.75 km, Broksar-Nagor in Mongar with 52 km, Shingkhar-Gorgoan in Bumthang to Lhuentse with 67 km, NamchuKhola-Ramse in Phuentsholing with 10km, Dolagang-Doben in Sarbang with 44km, and Therang-Khomshar in Zhemgang with 27 km.
The projects are either stopped or have restarted recently this week, ever since the end of July this year, since budget was not received from the dzongkhag administration.
Chief engineer of DoR, Tshering Wangdi said works handed over by the dzongkhag administrations are hampered. In the last two years, as a spillover work of the 10th five year plan (FYP), the DoR took over the projects as dzongkhags did not have enough resources, in terms of human as well as technical.
Since the country was undergoing elections, budget approvals were delayed since the projects were carried out with financial assistance from the Government of India (GOI).
Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) received Nu 1.5bn earlier this month from GoI which will be used for the spillover of the works from 10th FYP. The government is yet to receive another Nu 1.5bn.
The money was assigned for works under project tied assistance entailing capital works like, construction of roads, bridges, and other public infrastructure.
Project engineer of Dolagang-Doben road project, Karma Dorji said 37 km of formation cutting has been completed. Since the budget hasn’t been received, works have been stopped. The Sarbang Dzongda, Dawala said that for the fiscal year 2013-14, budget for construction activities has been approved to Nu 30mn. He said he has asked the GNHC to release the funds.
Project engineer of the Broksar-Nagor road project, Dorji Gyeltshen said the construction has been completed for a full-fledged road of 18km, and about 22.5 km of first cutting.
For the Shingkhar-Gorgan road connectivity, the project engineer said 13.76 km have been completed, and works will resume from this week since they have just received the budget.
Executive engineer of Namchu-Khola road construction, Dorji Wangchuk said that they have stopped the work since April 2013 due to heavy rain, and excavators could not cross the river. Works have been restarted this week upon receiving funds.
Project manager of Therang-Khomshar road project, Tshewang Rinzin said they have completed the full-fledged road construction of 9km and 11 km completed with formation cutting. Recently, the project received a sum of Nu 8mn.