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Highlights from the Question Hour

Posted on :12 May 2017

Highlights from the Question Hour

Before commencing the day’s session, on behalf of the House, the Hon’ble Speaker expressed his gratitude to all the nurses in the country for their dedicated service on the occasion of the International Nurses Day.  


  1. Construction of Bridge over Singye River

The Member from Phuentsholing constituency questioned the Minister for Works & Human Settlement on the construction of new bridge over Singye River on the Darla-Pasakha by-pass road. He said that although project DANTAK had started construction of the bridge during the 9th plan, it is still incomplete. Further, it was added that the existing bridge was with a load capacity of 24 tons and in the event of blockade on the Gedu-Phuentsholing highway, the bypass had become important especially for vehicles carrying heavy equipments for hydropower projects. It was, therefore, imperative to build a bridge with load capacity up to 100 tons.

Responding to the query, the Minister highlighted the importance of the bridge and informed that the government had already written to project DANTAK on the matter. She further informed that the construction of bridge was completed. However, there were some issues with contractors to be resolved by project DANTAK. The project DANTAK had assured that the works will be completed as soon as possible after the new bridge is better strengthened with reliable approach roads.


  1. Uniform provision of facilities for students in central schools

The Member from Drujegang-Tseza constituency submitted that same facilities were not provided to day-schooling students of the central schools compared to the boarders. He questioned on the policies of the government to ensure equal facilities for those students.

The Education Minister responded that initially facilities in the central schools were only available for the boarders but upon request from the people same facilities except for mattress and quilt are  now being provided to the day scholars. The Minister also informed the House that currently there were a total of 60 central schools in the country and around 50,000 students were being benefited with its facilities.


  1. Use of locally produced bricks for construction

The Member from Drametse-Ngatshang constituency questioned on the continued use of imported red bricks for construction in Thimphu despite the government’s directives to use only locally produced bricks for public construction works. He also questioned that locally made bricks had to go through quality checks while those imported bricks were not even put through quality checks.

Responding to the query, the Minister for Works & Human Settlement informed that lack of market for the local manufacturers of bricks were still a challenge as most of the people prefer imported bricks. The government had thus come up with the policy to use locally produced bricks for public construction works and the National Standard Bureau is certifying the quality of locally manufactured bricks. The use of local bricks in public constructions is also monitored by the Construction Development Board.


  1. Poor road condition between Nganglam-Pemagatshel

The Member from Nanong-Shumar constituency questioned the Minister for Works && Human Settlement for bad condition of road between Nganglam-Pemagtshel. She submitted that the road conditions are bad especially at certain sections and it is posing critical threats to travellers and public buses in particular. She asked the Minister to brief the House on the plans and programs for maintenance and improvement of this highway.

The Minister for Works & Human Settlement responded that no major problem was seen with the Nganglam –Pemagatshel road. It is only at a few points that the road was affected by the monsoon floods last year which were immediately repaired. The Minister underscored that few problems associated with roads would continue to arise in the country given its mountainous terrain and even decades old roads like Thimphu-Phuentsholing highway is not an exception.


  1. Problems faced by Central schools

The Member from Panbang constituency questioned on the government’s plan to resolve problems related to central schools. He submitted that the central schools were facing numerous problems such as cramped hostels, poor labs, inadequate dining facilities, shortage of drinking water and others.

The Education Minister responded that the concerns in the question raised were not true. He informed the House that he had personally inspected the facilities in 50 central schools out of 60 and except for few addressable issues, no major problem was seen. Furthermore, he informed that the Dzongdags were required to visit central schools at least twice a month and submit a report thereof to the government. The Minister added that the reports from Dzongdags have also indicated no major unsolvable problems.


  1. Blacktopping of Gewog centre roads

The Member from Kengkhar-Weringla constituency questioned about the Government’s plan to blacktop all Gewog centre roads. He submitted that roads for Gewog Centres like in Silambi and Gungdue Gewogs were not included in the list of gewog roads to be blacktopped.

The Minister for Works & Human Settlement responded that blacktopping of Gewog centre roads have always been the priority of the government and thus far the works related to blacktopping of the Gewog centre roads have been commendable. She also informed that by the end of this year, 74 Gewog centre roads will be blacktopped and by June 2018, 36 more Gewog center roads will be blacktopped which will take the total blacktopped Gewog centre roads to 157.

It was further informed that some 18 Gewog centre roads including that of Gungdue Geowg required improvements given the geographical factors. However, the Minister expressed that the government’s priority and objective continues to remain to blacktop all the Gewog centre roads.


  1. Construction of Dalbari-Lhamozingkha road

The Member from South Thimphu constituency questioned the Minister for Works & Human Settlement on when the construction of Dalbari-Lhamozingkha road would be completed as it had already been delayed by more than two years and what additional cost implication would be on account of delay and payment of compensations to the contractors.

Responding to the query, the Minister for Works & Human Settlement informed that the Dalbari-Lhamozingkha road was delayed since it had to be suspended as per the recommendations of the Anti Corruption Commission and various issues pertaining to the contractors involved.

The Minister, however, informed that currently, the works were awarded to a total of four contractors and the construction was expected to be completed in the beginning of 2019. The House was also informed that the total cost of road construction is Nu.1,220 million, which remained within the initial budget estimates. 


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