Dasho Sonam Wangyel, Secretary for Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs who is also the Chairman of the SC19TF graced the Salang Tendril (ground breaking ceremony) for the construction of Pasakha Dry port in Phuentsholing. The ceremony was also attended by the members of SC19TF, Consul General of the Embassy of India and the regional heads of Phuentsholing.
Pasakha dry port is one of the biggest infrastructural development projects undertaken by the Department of Trade. It is part of the government’s continuous efforts to facilitate trade and improve logistical facilities for our import and export. The prefeasibility study was carried out in 2016/17 with the financial and technical assistance from the World Bank. The need for dry port facilities has become critical and necessary to address logistical challenges faced by a landlocked country like Bhutan for export and business.
Pasakha dry port is being developed on an area of 15.06 acres which is strategically located near Pasakha industries and Bhutan-Indo border at Ahllay land custom station. The project is financed under the Trade support Facility program supported by the Government of India with overall cost estimation of around 1.7 billion.
The project has three major packages to be executed. The construction of 1.2 km length boundary RCC wall which is currently underway is the first package and is scheduled to be completed towards end of 2021. Other major packages in the pipeline include approach road to the project site, refilling of the project area, and the construction of civil structures such as administrative building, guest house, warehouses and internal roads.
The construction of Pasakha dry port is expected to significantly address logistical challenges faced by the private sector such as processing of import/export, transshipment of cargoes, long transit times, and high freight costs for movement of goods across the border. The port will also help reduce the risk of damages and pilferages to cargo during the processing, storage, and transshipment while providing improved facilities for traders. The dry port will cater for import and export of goods for/from western and central regions of Bhutan, besides Pasakha industries.
The construction of RCC wall has been awarded to Hi-Tech Construction Co. at an evaluated cost of 194.7 million. The project employs close to 180 employees, out of which more than 95% are Bhutanese workers from southern dzongkhags. The construction is carried out in a self-contained mode under strict compliance to the Covid-19 containment protocols issued by Covid-19 taskforce and Ministry of Health.
The project is implemented by Project Implementation Unit based in Pasakha under Department of Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs. The development of overall project is expected to be completed by early 2024.