Works progress well for Phuentsholing township development project

The development works on the much awaited township project along the left bank of the Amochhu in Phuentsholing have begun.

The Construction Development Company Limited’s Project Director, TsheringDrupchu, during the stakeholders meeting on January 24, said the works on zone A have begun in November by AFCONS Infrastructure Limited and have not seen disturbances so far. The company has also not seen any social impact too.

The CDCL has already conducted a series of Integrated Detailed Project Report (IDPR) and not much impact was foreseen.

TsheringDrupchu said the consultation meeting was conducted earlier as mandated by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the prime funding agency for the project.

“IDPR has been conducted to find any hindrances both social and environment which will impact the project. But so far there is no immediate hindrance,” he said.

Meanwhile, the consultation meeting with the stakeholders aimed to conduct awareness about the start of the project and see if there are any grievances.

Meanwhile, the ADB fund was secured in June last year after which the project got started.

Two consecutive floods of 2015 and 2016 have led the PhuentsholingThromde to protect the banks from further flooding. They have allotted the works to Rigsar Construction and Chukha Construction to work on the temporary embankment walls along the banks and river diversion works. The work was awarded in December, 2016 on cost recovery modality for a season. The companies are supposed to stop the work once the project commences. These companies are still on the site dredging and doing embankment wall on zone A.

Meanwhile, the CDCL has sought environment clearance till August 2022 for five packages in the entire project area. The contractor and the client have agreed to use 80% of the materials from the river during the project development. As a project implementation unit, CDCL also does not want any other natural resources extracted from the site.

Meanwhile, the works on the diaphragm wall over 4.5km along the left bank, which is around 9 meters deep below the river bed level, has started now. The wall is considered a critical part of the project and has to be completed before summer. It’s for flood protection and the works started from November.

The site excavation works are also underway and started immediately parallel to materials mobilization works. About 100 meters guide walls have also been constructed in zone A.

AFCONS Infrastructure Limited’s Construction Manager DilipSuryavanshi said the works are going smoothly.

Meanwhile, the ADB is funding 70% of the project through USD 24.26mn as grant and USD 28.74mn as loan, while the government is putting in for the remaining 30%.

The project, which was earlier conceived as a flood mitigation work, was later planned for as a township development project.

The reclaimed land in the new town will have residential buildings, green zones, foot paths, sports facilities, footpaths and motorable roads.

Once complete, the new town will be three times bigger than the current Phuentsholing town and will have 1,146 acres of land.

Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing