Fund crunch delays Central Boulevard Road

Central Boulevard Road which was planned by Gelephu Thromde has not been approved in the first phase which means that it will be delayed for the time being.

The four lane road will start from border till Sethikhari stream, few kilometers towards Gelephu-Zhemgang National Highway.

Gelephu Thromde had proposed the budget for the road to Gross National Happiness Commission last year. The road will be facilitated with street lights too. The 3.5km road project is estimated to cost around Nu 400mn.

The project will take three years to complete and if approved next year, it will be completed by the end of the 12th plan.

The Thromde faces challenges in realigning high tension electric lines running along the national highways within the Thromde jurisdiction. So once the road is complete, the first priority of Thromde is to realign those electric lines underground alongside the Central Boulevard Road, which is already planned. The wires will be aligned through common service duct which will run alongside the road. Around 75 plots are affected due to the electric lines where the plot owners are denied construction approvals according to Ugyen Dorji, Chief Engineer at Gelephu Thromde. 

Thromde could not carry any development activities along the high tension wires, according to the official. It has also posed risks for the residents and the travelers. 

There will be multiple advantages once the road is complete. The commercial spaces will come at both sides of Boulevard road. And also the permanent structures which are currently hampered will be constructed by the respective land owners.

Gelephu Thromde has talked with Bhutan Power Corporation on realignment of the high tension wires and the latter has agreed.

Also the other cable services will be realigned through common service duct which will make the road and the settlement, risk free, according to Ugyen Dorji.

The covered duct will then be converted into footpaths and flower gardens used for beautification. “Everything is planned and we are ready for implementation. But we are waiting for approval and fund,” Ugyen Dorji said. 

If approved, Gelephu Thromde had planned to implement the project from next month.

Meanwhile, Gelephu Thromde is already coming up with Urban Corridor, 32m six-lane road network from gate till airport on the way to Sarpang. GNH has approved the project through Small Development Program funded by Government of India. The project costs Nu 285mn to complete.

The Thromde also has visions to promote special economic zones (Urban corridor, multi-mode transit hub, dry port, industrial service centre) through modern art of technology and develop organized web of connectivity for greener public transport, cycling track, walking trails, footpaths, recreational parks, sporting venues, picnic spots, elderly retreat space and gender friendly public rest room.

Krishna Ghalley from Gelephu