JICA to Reconstruct Passang Zam in Gelephu

The deputy representative said that the replacement of the existing bridge will not only benefit the hydropower projects but also the entire central dzongkhags of Bhutan as the Trongsa – Gelephu Primary National Highway is one of the most important north-south links for the dzongkhags in central Bhutan.

At the ground-breaking ceremony of the reconstruction of the Passang Zam Bridge in Gelephu. (Source: http://www.kuenselonline.com)


The reconstruction of the much awaited and needed Passang Zam in Pelrithang, Gelephu has begun on 5 Jan 2018 with the Salang Tendrel ceremony.

JICA is helping to reconstruct the Passang Zam Bridge

The Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) is reconstructing the 41.5meter bridge.

At the ground-breaking ceremony, the deputy representative of JICA, Kota Wakabayashi said that the existing bridge has been used for almost four decades and the condition has deteriorated.

He also said that the width and loading capacity of the bridge does not comply with the current design standard in Bhutan.

Benefits of replacing the existing bridge

The deputy representative said that the replacement of the existing bridge will not only benefit the hydropower projects but also the entire central dzongkhags of Bhutan as the Trongsa – Gelephu Primary National Highway is one of the most important north-south links for the dzongkhags in central Bhutan.

Preparatory works for the reconstruction project has been undertaken by the Department of Roads (DoR), the Consortium of Oriental Consultants Global Co. Ltd. and the Angerosec Corporation and Dai-Nippon Construction.

While the existing bridge has already been dismantled, a bypass route has been opened.

DoR’s chief executive engineer, CB Mongar said that a temporary bridge would be constructed soon until the new bridge is completed so that traffic flow is not disturbed during the monsoon season when the river swells.

An opportunity for the transfer of technical knowledge from Japan to Bhutan

A press release from JICA stated that during the construction of the bridge, JICA will be providing an opportunity for all construction companies to learn and enhance their knowledge on the technicalities of constructing a quality bridge.

It also stated that JICA welcomes any stakeholders from the construction industry to be the beneficiary of the learning process from this reconstruction project to facilitate the transfer of technical knowledge.

The Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS) has implemented 22 bridges including three bridges, which are under construction in the primary National Highway-1 with Japanese grant aid projects.


By Nirmala Pokhrel (This article has been edited for the New Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared on Kuensel.



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