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Assembly: Works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden informed National Assembly members that, of the total of 49 households on the Semtokha-Dochula stretch that were affected while widening the road, 47 were provided cash compensation for land, and two were to be given land substitute.

Minister quizzed on east-west highway issues

Assembly: Works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden informed National Assembly members that, of the total of 49 households on the Semtokha-Dochula stretch that were affected while widening the road, 47 were provided cash compensation for land, and two were to be given land substitute.

Nubi-Tangsibji MP Nidup Zangpo asked what kind of modalities there were to pay compensations for land lost to the northern east-west highway construction.

Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that compensation for land acquired by government projects was not a new system.  Land compensation rules are clearly stated in the Road Act 2013 and the Land Act 2007.

“Land compensations were provided after holding consultations with the affected people and agencies concerned in respective gewogs and dzongkhags,” said lyonpo Dorji Choden.

Lyonpo said that the procedure would be same everywhere.  Therefore, land compensations will be provided to the people affected due to widening of the east-west highway.

Lyonpo said that there had been some problems while widening the roads.  But there had been no complaints regarding land being acquired by the road construction projects.

Responding to the question put by Nyisho-Sephu’s MP Kuenga, who asked how long it would take to complete road widening project between Thimphu and Wangdue, and how much it would cost, lyonpo Dorji Choden said that the road widening from Thimphu to Wangdue was expected to be complete by June this year.

“The estimated cost per km is Nu 3,000,000, but it can change when the work is given to contractors,” said lyonpo Dorji Choden.

The South Thimphu MP Yeshey Zimba asked what amount of budgetary and human resources would be required to establish 16 dzongkhag thromdes and 20 yenlag thromdes.

In response, Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that the estimated cost had been worked out at Nu 50 million.  She added that the actual cost and human resource requirement could be worked out only after thromdes were declared and finalised.

The work for establishing dzongkhag thromdes will be carried out systemically.

By Dechen Tshomo

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