JICA commits nearly Nu 870 M for Namling and Durdari bridge reconstruction

Namling and Durdari Bridges in Monggar will undergo major reconstruction with support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA. JICA will provide nearly Nu 870 M for the reconstruction of these two bridges. The grant agreement was signed between JICA and the Ministry of Finance today. According to the Department of Surface Support, the reconstruction will improve the connection between Trashigang and Thimphu highways, reducing travel time by four hours. This means it will only take about 12 hours to travel between Trashigang and Thimphu.

The new Namling bridge will be upgraded to a steel truss bridge for better stability. Likewise, the Durdari bridge will be redesigned with increased safety and durability.

Both bridges will also undergo widening and paving and become two-lane bridges with increased width. In addition, slope protection measures will be added for additional safety.

Currently, Namling and Durdari have temporary bailey bridges, capable of supporting 30 tonnes and 24 tonnes respectively.

“Overall, these bridges are important because the target for the department under the 13th plan is to shorten the travel distance on the primary highway between Thimphu to Trashigang. So, our overall objective is to reduce the travel time from Thimphu to Trashigang within 12 hours. So these two bridges are very critical, very important on the primary national highway. Currently, as per the comprehensive national developmental plan, our vehicles take on average 30 km per hour but with this improvement in bridges, and improvement on the road, we feel that speed can be improved to 40 km per hour,” said Tenzin, director general of the Department of Surface Transport.

A total of 26 bridges have been constructed across the country’s national highways through the grant aid scheme.

In addition, during the same event, a grant agreement was signed for a project on human resource development scholarship. The grant will support nine master’s courses and one PhD course at higher educational institutions in Japan. The grant support of Nun1.28 M will be extended from April next year till December 2031.

Samten Dolkar

Edited by Sonam Pem

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