Thimphu Thromde gets $ 4.26 million grant from ADB

Roads in Thimphu will soon be resurfaced and maintained
Usha Drukpa, Thimphu

After numerous complains and repeated pleas from the residents of Thimphu about poor road conditions and rampant potholes, the bell had finally rung in the ears of the government. All the road-links within the city area will soon be repaired and improved.
The government has received a grant of USD 4.26 million from Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the improvement of roads in Thimphu Thromde, and this comes under the initiation of the Prime Minister, Dasho Tshering Tobgay. Also this grant is first of its kind and the government has never received grant of this magnitude before from ADB in urban sector.
According to the Press Release, the ADB Grant for Thimphu Road Improvement Project came into effect from 5th December, 2016, and the project will go on for three years. The total cost of the project is $ 5.11 million ($4.26 million ADB grant and $0.85M RGOB contribution, taxes and duties)
The project aims at improving or resurfacing about 70 percent of the existing roads in Thimphu Thromde, which are in bad conditions. The Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS) in consultation with Thimphu Thromde has identified the roads stretches to be covered by the project.
The project packages are also carefully designed to include drains and footpaths along with improvement and resurfacing works.
The project consists of two packages. Package one includes improvement or resurfacing of 32.99 kilometres (KM) of road,  improvement of 9.15 KM of drainage and 4.83 KM of footpath and improvement of 4239 square meters of parking.
It is divided in to four lots and works have been awarded. The total contract cost is Nu. 195,135,860.28. The contract duration for all the four lots is 18 months with effect from March, 2017.
Package two includes Widening of Road between Semthokha Mani Dungkhar to YHS junction. The total length is 3.54 KM and preliminary estimate (Budget Provision) is Nu. 52.26 Million. Detail design and estimate is being carried out by the Thimphu Thromde, the report states.
Further, the report states that the road improved or resurfaced under this project is expected to be of better quality with proper drainage system which has been the main cause for the deterioration of the road condition.
Improvement in the footpath will be made friendly for differently-able people wherever possible. Implementation will be done by Thimphu Thromde, but the ministry will be involved in monitoring the works.
Meanwhile, ADB began supporting Bhutan since 1982, through various programs, mainly in energy, transport, finance, and urban development. ADB has approved loans totaling up to $498.81 million, grant of $222.4 million, and $73.48 million in technical assistance for Bhutan.
ADB’s support to Bhutan reflects a strong emphasis on green energy production, transport connectivity, and key urban infrastructure projects.
In the past, ADB has also helped expand economic opportunities in Bhutan by supporting infrastructure development of the finance sector.
To make growth more inclusive, ADB will help improve Bhutan’s national and cross-border connectivity, infrastructure in regional growth centres, skills development, and agriculture.
In 2013, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided fresh support to Bhutan to strengthen its economy.
The first phase helped Bhutan overcome a liquidity crunch and to stabilize the economy in the fiscal year 2013.
According to one of the senior government official, the assistance from ADB is vital for the successful implementation of our ambitious 11th five-year plan, which targets self-reliance for all national development needs by 2020, including cutting poverty from the current 12% to 5% or less of the population, and carbon-neutral growth.

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