MoIT to roll out app and website for real-time roadblock updates

Bhutan will soon launch a system that can provide real-time updates on roadblocks across the country. Initiated by the infrastructure and transport ministry with support from JICA, the Bhutan Road Safety system will be available both as a mobile application and a web-based system. This was one of the six outputs presented at a seminar to develop measures to mitigate slope disaster on roads held in the capital, today.

Besides information about roadblocks, the system will also provide information on ongoing road maintenance activities and cautionary information for the travellers.

When there is a roadblock, the system will also indicate alternative routes.

“The app will signal the highways that are blocked by a blinking red cross. The user can click on the signal and can view information about the location of the roadblock and what caused it. It will also indicate the estimated duration that will be required to clear the road,” said Leki Drakpa, an engineer at the Department of Surface Transport.

Officials said that the system is ready but they are awaiting a global IP address from the GovTech Agency to launch it. Officials said they would be able to launch it in about two weeks.

Once it is made available to the public, information on roadblocks will be updated by the department’s regional offices.

As a part of the pilot project, suitable drains were constructed with culverts on highways to ensure the smooth flow of debris. Such culverts and drains were built in Bjee in Trongsa, Khelekha in Punakha, and Samdrupcholing in Samdrup Jongkhar.

“Debris from floods piles on the road, damaging walls and pavements. This output is to build big drains below the roads that can help the floods and their debris to pass without damaging the road,” said Tashi Tenzin, an engineer at the Department of Surface Transport.

The six-year project for Capacity Development on Countermeasures of Slope Disaster on Roads in Bhutan funded by JICA will come to an end in July this year.

“The techniques we have implemented under this project and the manuals and guidelines developed will be in use for all the projects that will be executed under the Department of Surface Transport,” said Tshewang Dorji, officiating director general at the Department of Surface Transport.

The project that started in 2018 was aimed at improving the department’s capacity to implement effective measures to reduce slope disasters in the country.

Once the pilot project ends, Bhutanese experts in the Department of Surface Transport will take up the implementation of the measures.

Namgay Dema

Edited by Kipchu

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