Bhutan: Urban Infrastructure Project

Sovereign Project | 44240-013 Status: Active


ADB is supporting Bhutan’s efforts to improve infrastructure in its two largest municipalities, Phuentsholing and Thimphu, and in fast-growing urban centers, Samdrup Jongkhar Municipality and Nganglam town. The project will include upgrades and expansion of water supply and wastewater treatment systems and transport facilities, as well as support for stronger urban management.

Latest Project Documents

Consulting Notices See also: CMS

No notices are currently available for this project.

Procurement Notices See also: Operational Procurement

No notices are currently available for this project.

Procurement Documents

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Project Name Urban Infrastructure Project
Project Number 44240-013
Country Bhutan
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan 2816-BHU: Urban Infrastructure Project
Asian Development Fund US$ 19.87 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Transport - Urban roads and traffic management

Water and other urban infrastructure and services - Urban policy, institutional and capacity development - Urban sewerage - Urban water supply

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Effective gender mainstreaming
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome
Progress Toward Outcome Bridge and approach road works in Phuentsholing is ongoing. Procurement for two works contracts are ongoing: (i) water supply works in Samdrup Jonghkar; and (ii) design-build-operate contract for wastewater treatment plant for Thimphu. Consultants were already mobilized and are helping the PMU in project-related activities. Consulting services for health and hygiene awareness campaign will be engaged in Q2 2016.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs
Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Capacity strengthened for public awareness in health and hygiene; Project management and implementation is strengthened: PMC and DSC consultants are on board and helping the PMU in project-administration-related activities.

Construction of 46 meter span PC girder bridge and approach road in Phuentsholing is ongoing; contract was awarded in April 2015.

Urban management is strengthened: Comprehensive sectoral plans (water supply and sewerage) will be prepared for Samdrup Jonghkar Municipality (SJM) and will be submitted by Q4 2015. Training for staff will be conducted following the mobilization of the capacity training consultant (to be individually recruited), which is envisaged for Q4 2016 once civil works are underway in all three towns.

Bid evaluation for the water supply works in Samdrup Jonghkar and the design-build-operate contract for 12 MLD Wastewater Treatment Plant in Thimphu is ongoing. Awards of contracts are expected in the first quarter and the third quarter, respectively, of 2016.

Geographical Location

Safeguard Categories

Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples C

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects Draft Environmental Management Plans (EMP) were prepared as part of the three Initial Environmental Examinations (IEEs), one each for Thimphu Municipality, SJM, and Phuentsholing Municipality. An Environmental Assessment and Review Framework (EARF) was prepared to guide planning studies and detailed design of future investments in preparation of future financing. These studies included under Output 3 are the following: (i) WSS planning, due diligence and detailed design for WSS infrastructure requirements consistent with plans developed for SJM and Nganglam Town; (ii) mobility and drainage planning for Phuentsholing Municipality; and (iii) due diligence and detailed design for transport infrastructure requirements consistent with plans developed for Phuentsholing Municipality. The EARF will also guide under Output 1, the environmental assessment requirements for the WWTP in Thimphu Municipality, once the treatment option is selected by the DBO contractor.
Involuntary Resettlement The project will avoid land acquisition and resettlement impacts and is classified as Category C as per ADB SPS, 2009. A resettlement framework was prepared in accordance with the ADB SPS, 2009 and government laws to guide planning studies and detailed designs of future investments in particular to guide any land pooling if required. All costs related to land acquisition and resettlement/rehabilitation will be borne by the government.
Indigenous Peoples The project will have no impacts on indigenous peoples and so ADB's Indigenous People's requirements are not applicable.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design A Gender Action Plan (GAP) was prepared for the project to address gender inequality issues in the project areas. A consultation and participation (C&P) plan was also prepared for continued consultations with various stakeholders particularly the poor and vulnerable groups.
During Project Implementation A separate consultation and participation (C&P) plan prepared for the project provides methodology and processes for continued consultations with various stakeholders, particularly the poor and vulnerable groups, during the course of project implementation. The communities will be involved in consultations for project planning, implementation and for any safeguard issues with special attention given to include the poor and female-headed households. Orientation on HIV/AIDS and other safety measures will be provided for the contractors and laborers in package training.

Business Opportunities

Consulting Services All consultants under the project were recruited in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants by the Asian Development Bank and its Borrowers (2010, as amended from time to time). Consultants were recruited using quality- and cost-based selection (the quality to cost ratio of 80/20 was used). An international consulting firm (18 person-months of international consulting services and 50 person-months of national consulting services) has been engaged as PMC to assist PMU in overall project management and implementation. Similarly, an international consulting firm (29 person-months of international consulting services and 82 person-months of national consulting services) has been engaged as DMSC to assist the PIUs in the design, monitoring, and supervision of contracts under the project. In addition, the PMC and DMSC will also work on the various master plans, designs and procurement packages for follow-on works in Nganglam, SJM and Phuentsholing.

Most of the procurement for the project will be carried out by PIUs with input from the PMU. Goods, works and services, will be procured in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (February 2010, as amended from time to time). Procurement of works estimated to cost the equivalent of more than $1 million will be carried out in accordance with international competitive bidding (ICB) procedures. Procurement of goods estimated to cost the equivalent of more than $500,000 will be carried out using international competitive bidding (ICB) method. Procurement of works estimated to cost less than $1 million will be carried out using national competitive bidding (NCB) method. The procurement of goods will preferably be grouped into packages equal to and larger than $500,000 to be suitable for ICB procedures. Goods that cannot be grouped into larger contracts and are estimated to cost less than $500,000 will be carried out using NCB, and miscellaneous minor goods expected to cost under $100,000 equivalent will be purchased using shopping procedures.

The Thimphu WWTP will be procured as DBO contract following ICB procedures. The DBO will have two parts. Part A will include the design, build component to be funded from the ADB loan and Part B for O&M will be funded by Thimphu Municipality.

A procurement capacity assessment was completed and procurement capacity was found to be sufficient. Procurement will be undertaken by the executing agency and implementing agencies. The executing agency and three of five implementing agencies have experience under UIDP and have developed capacity to issue tenders, evaluate bids and prepare bid evaluation reports. Newly formed PIUs will be trained through twinning arrangements providing on-the-job training from the PMU and DMSC. Further capacity will be built for all implementing agencies through the PMU and involving the executing agency and implementing agencies in annual in-country procurement seminars of ADB. Procurement accountability is provided through the Tender Opening, Tender Evaluation and Tender Award Committees. Each committee has to make a declaration of no Conflict of Interest . The 3-tier system provides due diligence. All government staff and consultants are subject to group and individual audits.

Responsible Staff

Responsible ADB Officer Keiichi Tamaki
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Urban Development and Water Division, SARD
Executing Agencies
Department of Urban Development and Engineering Services
Thimphu, Bhutan


Concept Clearance 29 Oct 2010
Fact Finding 10 Aug 2011 to 23 Aug 2011
MRM 19 Sep 2011
Approval -
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 18 Mar 2016

Loan 2816-BHU

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
29 Nov 2011 08 Feb 2012 27 Apr 2012 14 Aug 2018 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 23.38 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 19.87 29 Nov 2011 4.62 0.00 26%
Counterpart 3.51 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 29 Nov 2011 2.45 0.00 14%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - - - Satisfactory - -
Title Document Type Document Date
Urban Infrastructure Project: Procurement Plan Procurement Plans May 2016
Loan Agreement (Special Operations) for Urban Infrastructure Project Loan Agreement (Special Operations) Feb 2012
Project Agreement for the Urban Infrastructure Project Project/Program Agreement Feb 2012
Urban Infrastructure Project Gender Action Plans Nov 2011
Urban Infrastructure Project Reports and Recommendations of the President Nov 2011
Urban Infrastructure Project Summary Poverty Reduction and Social Strategies Nov 2011
Urban Infrastructure Project Project/Program Administration Manual Oct 2011

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

Title Document Type Document Date
Bhutan: Urban Infrastructure Project Brochures and Flyers Oct 2012

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