The construction of the Nganglam-Dewathang highway has begun and is in full swing today. But the project which has just started is already benefitting the people of Nganglam in Pema Gatshel. Project DANTAK, which is carrying out the construction, has been recruiting local people instead of bringing in workers from India as it normally does.
Almost half of the works have been finished under the first phase of the project which began in December of last year.
More than fifty people from three Gewogs in Nganglam have been recruited by the project and are working in various positions ranging from supervisors to machine operators and vehicle drivers.
Under the first phase, the highway will be cleared from Dizama under Chhoekhorling Gewog to the Gewog Center.
Besides employment opportunities, the project is also helping the farmers in the area sell their produce to the project staff.
“After DANTAK started this project, it has benefitted us because we got employed here. Most of our youth are also engaged here. The salary that we get at the end of the month is benefitting the whole family,” said Choki Gyeltshen who is working as a supervisor.
“We are getting the opportunity to work here. We were jobless before. I am able to earn some money to sustain myself and my family,” said Rinchen Norbu, an excavator operator.
“The workers buy vegetables from the farmers and are helping them make some earning these days,” said the Dizama Tshogpa Tsegay Norbu.
The project DANTAK says they will be recruiting more people when they start the second and third phases.
Works on the remaining 12 kilometres under the first phase are expected to end by March. Officials from the Department of Surface Transport said they have yet to confirm the funds and deadlines for the remaining two phases.
Once complete, the highway will allow people to travel between Dewathang in Samdrup Jongkhar and Nganglam in Pema Gatshel using Bhutanese roads. Currently, people have to travel via India which is inconvenient.
Thinley Dorji, Pema Gatshel
Edited by Yeshi Gyaltshen
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