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.
|Project Name||Urban Infrastructure Project|
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Loan
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change||Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
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|
|Description||The project supports the Government of Bhutan's efforts toward sustainable urban development in its two largest municipalities (Phuentsholing and Thimphu) and two emerging urban centers (Samdrup Jongkhar Municipality [SJM] and Nganglam Town). It has four outputs: (i) water supply and sanitation (WSS) infrastructure rehabilitation and expansion; (ii) mobility improvement; (iii) urban management strengthening; and (iv) project management and capacity development.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
Unprecedented urban growth coupled with inadequate urban infrastructure has resulted in a shortfall of basic urban services for Bhutan's urban residents. Infrastructure requirements across urban centers vary, but access to water, sanitation, solid waste management, and urban transport are often inadequate. The government's Tenth Five-Year Plan identifies the need to invest in urban infrastructure and management in Bhutan's two major municipalities, Thimphu and Phuentsholing, and other larger urban centers to ensure sustainable urban management.
Thimphu Municipality is Bhutan's capital, with a population of 92,000 making up 40% of Bhutan's urban population. This population is expected to double by 2025. Thimphu's development strategy identifies four primary issues in the infrastructure and environment sector: (i) water supply; (ii) wastewater collection and treatment; (iii) drainage and flood protection; and (iv) solid waste collection and disposal. The completed Urban Infrastructure Development Project (UIDP) supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) covers water supply, solid waste management, and wastewater collection and treatment. The UIDP and Thimphu''s local area plan identifies wastewater management as a priority issue in Thimphu, with water pollution from wastewater discharge, solid waste, and effluent from workshops and industries degrading the urban environment.
Following Thimphu Municipality, Phuentsholing Municipality is the second largest urban center in Bhutan. The 2005 urban population of 21,000 is expected to increase to 32,000 by 2025. It is the busiest commercial hub where most of the country's cross-border trade takes place. Its urban development plan identifies congestion and poor urban mobility as a key issue that restricts the municipality''s growth. The UIDP has contributed to rehabilitating and improving roads and other municipal services in Phuentsholing but there are further investment needs.
SJM has been designated the fourth municipality of Bhutan. The urban population of 6,000 in 2005 is expected to almost triple by 2025. In addition, the satellite town of Deothang with a current population of about 2,000 was subsumed under SJM when it was designated a part of the municipality. While the municipality serves as the gateway to six districts of eastern Bhutan and is one of the oldest urban areas, there has been considerably less investment in urban infrastructure compared with the other three municipalities (Gelephu, Phuentsholing and Thimphu). This burdens existing infrastructure in an area that is rapidly expanding and has large growth potential as a trade node with the development of the Asian Highways Project and the proposed east-west transnational highway.
The project is consistent with government plans and strategies, and with the inclusive social development objective of ADB''s Bhutan country partnership strategy, which aims to improve urban infrastructure services, upgrade city planning, and strengthen the planning and management functions of municipalities. It is consistent with ADB''s Strategy 2020 as it contributes to regional outcomes in terms of Millennium Development Goal 7; Bhutan''s infrastructure, specifically urban infrastructure, which is one of ADB''s five core areas of specialization; and environmentally sustainable development. Lessons learned from past and ongoing urban projects and the country assistance program evaluation are incorporated in the project.
|Impact||Balanced and sustainable development of human settlements in Phuentsholing, Samdrup Jongkhar and Thimphu ensured|
|Description of Outcome||Improved urban infrastructure for the residents of Phuentsholing, Samdrup Jongkhar and Thimphu municipalities (thromdes) provided.|
|Progress Toward Outcome||Phuentsholing and Samdrup Jongkhar are benefiting from improved urban infrastructure (bridge over River Om Chhu in Phuentsholing and manual commissioning of WTP in Samdrup Jongkhar). The WWTP in Thimphu is likely to be completed by end of 2020 thereby benefiting the residents of Thimphu city. The consulting firm completed the hygiene awareness and consultation and participation campaign in all three towns, including outreach with thromde staff, communities, school children, private sector and community-based organizations. Training provided to district and city staff has led to improved local capacity.|
|Description of Project Outputs||
Water supply and sanitation infrastructure in Samdrup Jongkhar and Thimphu thromdes improved
Mobility in Phuentsholing thromde improved.
Urban management strengthened.
Capacity of urban public officials strengthened for public awareness in health and hygiene and project management and implementation.
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)||Water supply infrastructure (2.5 MLD water treatment plant) in Samdrup Jongkhar is 100% complete with full automated commissioning expected within Q2 2020. WWTP in Thimphu thromde is 80% complete and was procured through a DBO contract. Works are currently behind schedule due to contractor delays and COVID-19 situation. Phuentsholing bridge has been completed and opened to traffic in April 2019 (Output 2). WSS equipment for thromdes fully procured. Training for plumbers and plant operators under Output 3 will be conducted in Q2 2020. Output 4: capacity of urban public officials strengthened for public awareness in health and hygiene and project management and implementation has been completed. Training in project planning, implementation and management was conducted for 234 staff (including 44 women) covering staff from most districts and thromdes in Bhutan.|
|Geographical Location||Phuentsholing, Samdrup Jongkhar, Thimphu|
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Environmental Aspects||Draft Environmental Management Plans (EMPs) were prepared as part of the three Initial Environmental Examinations (IEEs), one each for Thimphu Municipality, SJM, and Phuentsholing Municipality. The IEEs were updated for all civil works contracts based ion detailed design and inclusion of minor additional site works (WWTP in Thimphu, WTP in Samdrup Jongkhar and Bridge in Phuentsholing).An Environmental Assessment and Review Framework (EARF) was prepared to guide planning studies and detailed design of future investments in preparation of future financing.|
|Involuntary Resettlement||The project was reclassified as Category B for social safeguards as per ADB SPS following minor unanticipated resettlement impacts (affecting 10 people) in Phuentsholing. During project preparation 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. One resettlement plan for the approach roads in Phuentsholing was prepared and uploaded on ADB website. All costs related to land acquisition and resettlement/rehabilitation are borne by the government.|
|Indigenous Peoples||The project will have no impacts on indigenous peoples and therefore 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. All activities in the GAP were successfully completed. A consultation and participation (C&P) plan was also implemented for continued consultations with various stakeholders, particularly the poor and vulnerable groups.|
|During Project Implementation||A separate consultation and participation (C&P) plan was prepared for continued consultations with various stakeholders, particularly the poor and vulnerable groups, during the course of project implementation. The communities have been 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 was provided for the contractors and laborers.|
|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. 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.|
Most of the procurement for the project are carried out by PMU with input from the PIUs. 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 is carried out in accordance with international competitive bidding (ICB) procedures. Procurement of goods estimated to cost the equivalent of more than $500,000 is carried out using ICB procedures. Procurement of works estimated to cost less than $1 million is carried out using national competitive bidding (NCB) procedures. Procurement of goods is preferably grouped into packages equal to or 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 procedures, and miscellaneous minor goods expected to cost under $100,000 equivalent are purchased using shopping procedures.
The Thimphu WWTP was procured as a DBO contract following ICB procedures. The DBO will have two parts. Part A includes the design, build component to be funded from the ADB loan and Part B for O&M will be funded by Thimphu Municipality.
A procurement capacity assessment was completed and procurement capacity was found to be sufficient. Procurement will be undertaken by the executing agency and implementing agencies. The executing agency and three of five implementing agencies have experience under UIDP and have developed capacity to issue tenders, evaluate bids and prepare bid evaluation reports. Newly formed PIUs will be trained through twinning arrangements providing on-the-job training from the PMU and DMSC. Further capacity will be built for all implementing agencies through the PMU and involving the executing agency and implementing agencies in annual in-country procurement seminars of ADB. Procurement accountability is provided through the Tender Opening, Tender Evaluation and Tender Award Committees. Each committee has to make a declaration of no conflict of interest_. The 3-tier system provides due diligence. All government staff and consultants are subject to group and individual audits.
|Responsible ADB Officer||Norbu, Tshewang|
|Responsible ADB Department||South Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||BHRM|
Department of Engineering Services (DES)
Ministry of Works & Human Settlement
Drentoen Lam, Thimphu Bhutan Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS)
Post Box #278
|Concept Clearance||29 Oct 2010|
|Fact Finding||10 Aug 2011 to 23 Aug 2011|
|MRM||19 Sep 2011|
|Approval||29 Nov 2011|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||27 Mar 2020|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|29 Nov 2011||08 Feb 2012||27 Apr 2012||14 Aug 2018||30 Jun 2021||-|
|Financing Plan||Loan Utilization|
|Total (Amount in US$ million)||Date||ADB||Others||Net Percentage|
|Project Cost||23.38||Cumulative Contract Awards|
|ADB||19.87||29 Nov 2011||16.78||0.00||93%|
|Cofinancing||0.00||29 Nov 2011||14.81||0.00||82%|
|Status of Covenants|
Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.
The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.
The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.
In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Amendment to the Loan Agreement for Loan 2816-BHU: Urban Infrastructure Project||Loan Agreement (Special Operations)||May 2020|
|Urban Infrastructure Project: Procurement Plan||Procurement Plans||May 2019|
|Loan Agreement (Special Operations) for Urban Infrastructure Project||Loan Agreement (Special Operations)||Feb 2012|
|Project Agreement for the Urban Infrastructure Project||Project/Program Agreements||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.
The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.
Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.
No tenders for this project were found.
|Contract Title||Approval Number||Contract Date||Contractor||Contractor Address||Executing Agency||Contract Description||Total Contract Amount (US$)||Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)|
|CONSULTING SERVICES FOR HYGIENE AWARENESS AND CONSULTATION PARTICIPATION||Loan 2816||25 Sep 2017||PRICEWATERHOUSE COOPERS PVT LTD. IN ASSOC.||3RD FLOOR, ROAD NO. 10, BANJARA HILLS HYDERABAD INDIA||Department of Engineering Services (DES)||149,662.00||149,662.00|
|CONSTRUCTION OF 46.8 M PSC BOX GIRDER BRIDE IN PHUENTSHOLING THROMDE||Loan 2816||23 Aug 2017||M/S BHUTAN BUILDERS PVT. LTD.||THORI LAM POST BOX NO. 525, THIMPHU BHUTAN||Department of Engineering Services (DES)||CONSTRUCTION||1,172,373.00||995,904.00|