English | Dzongkha Saturday, August 17, 2019

Government awaits environment clearance for Shingkhar-Gorgan highway

Sherub Dorji, Thimphu
Dec 31, 2018

The government hopes to start the construction of Shingkhar-Gorgan highway in the current five year plan. 

The Ministry of Works and Human Settlement has budgeted Nu 400 M for the new road in the 12th Five Year Plan. This was shared at the Friday Meet last week.

The long planned road is yet to receive environmental clearance from the National Environment Commission (NEC) though.

It’s been over a decade now since the Shingkhar-Gorgan highway plan was first conceived. The planned highway still remains on paper mainly due to environmental impact issues.

The current government says it’s determined to see through the plan.

“Recently we had a meeting. We decided this can’t remain like this. It has been more than ten years,” the works and human settlement minister said.

“We will submit all additional documents if required. We want to make sure we get the clearance for the construction. We hope we can start within the first two years of the 12th FYP,” Lyonpo Dorji Tshering added.

If the clearance doesn’t come through this time, the planned budget would be diverted to the Ura-Lingmethang highway widening.

The Ura-Lingmethang highway widening works were deferred in the hopes of the Shingkhar-Gorgan highway coming through.

The Shingkhar-Gorgan highway, if constructed, would reduce the travel distance between Thimphu and Lhuentse by about 100 kilometers.

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