The Project will upgrade or construct five critical sections (about 180 kilometers [km]) of the southern east-west highway, including (i) Manitar-Raidak, (ii) Raidak-Lhamoizingkha, (iii) Pangbang-Amshingwoong (Nganglam), (iv) Tsebar-Mikuri-Durung Ri, and (v) Samdrupcholing-Samrang. Consulting services will be provided to prepare detailed design and support implementation of the civil works. These proposed road sections provide access to the border crossings and have significant regional implications. Road improvement and construction works under the Project include construction of roadways, including longitudinal drainage structures, installation of culverts and bridges, construction of new bridges and cross-drainage structures, and structures for resettlement and rehabilitation.
The Project will also enhance overall sector management capacity by providing (i) equipment necessary for the Royal Government of Bhutan to enhance sector capacity in areas such as (a) quality survey, design, and construction, (b) road safety, and (c) control of overloading and vehicle emissions; (ii) on-the-job training for social and environmental requirements through detailed design and construction supervision consultants; and (iii) technical assistance (TA) to support the capacity building of the Department of Roads (DoR), including (a) enhancing knowledge of and skills in modern road technologies, especially with environmental considerations; and (b) enhancing and optimizing the road asset management systems.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Accessibility is Bhutan's key development issue-the trunk road network is dependent on a single east-west national highway running through the northern part of the country. The absence of a similar east-west highway running through the south has constrained travel in the southern part and hence development opportunities, including potential trade with India. Limited provision of feeder roads adds to the isolation of remote southern rural areas. The proposed Project will construct critical sections of the southern east-west highway, which will facilitate industrial development in the southern areas and integrate them more effectively with their primary markets in India.
The DoR, which is in charge of road development and management, is limited by traditional road-building technologies, which often lead to cost and time overruns in project delivery. For efficient and effective road asset development and management, the DoR needs to be equipped with knowledge skills, and tools for the use of modern technologies in planning, survey, design, and construction, especially with regard to environmental considerations. Improved road safety and control of overloading and vehicle emissions are also required for the safe and efficient use of road assets with minimal adverse environmental impacts.