Brig PKG Mishra


Chief Engineer


    


BRIEF: PROJECT DANTAK


                Bhutan is a beautiful country nestling in the Eastern Himalayas.  Its snow capped peaks, turbulent rivers with wide green valleys at high altitudes, steep hilly terrain and thick forest over, create a magnificent landscape.  Bhutan has an area of 46,620 Sq km and lies between the parallel ranges of the outer Himalayas in the north and inner Himalayas in the south.  Annual rainfall varies between 500 mm to 2,000 mm in the northern region and from 2,000 mm to 5,000 in the south.  The southern ranges are broken gorges scoured out by the main rives of Bhutan, the Amochu (Torsa), the Wangchu (Raidak), the Mochu (Sankosh) and the Dongme Chu (Manas) which flow mostly in the north-south direction and being snow fed carry substantial flow during the non-monsoon months.  The mountain spurs run in north-south direction and descend from heights of over 6,000 m to the foothills near the Indo-Bhutan border.


          By the end of year 1960, Bhutan had realized the need to planned social and economic development.  Therefore, His Majesty the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck launched the First Five Year Plan (1961 - 1966) in July 61.  Until 1960, Bhutan had no motorable roads.  It was connected only by footpaths and mule tracks.  As development of roads and transport system play a vital role in the economic and social development of the country, primary importance was given to these sectors during the first three Five Year Plans of Bhutan.  Total grant of development of roads was 58.7% in First Five Year Plan, 34.9% in Second Five Year Plan, 17.8% in Third Five Year Plan, 11.6% in Fourth Five Year Plan, 15.3% in Fifth Five Year Plan, 9.3% in Sixth Five Year Plan and 7.8% in Seventh Five Year Plan.  It was against this background that Project Dantak came into being.


          Project Dantak was raised in May 1961 at Samdrup Jongkar in Eastern Bhutan.  A humble beginning was made in bamboo huts and thatched roofs.  Since then Project Dantak has not looked back.  It has contributed to economic growth of Bhutan by not only developing roads and tele-communication net works but also other prestigious works throughout Bhutan.  Over the years, Project Dantak has constructed 1500 Km of roads, airfield at Paro and Yangphula, number of helipads, tele-communication net work in Bhutan, Indo-Bhutan Microwave link, Bhutan Broadcasting Station, the prestigious India House Complex, Chukha Hydel Housing Complex, Hydel Sub-stations, river training works, Schools and Colleges.  The list of accomplishments is endless and in the coming years it is hoped that works like Infrastructure for Kurichu Hydel Project, Dungsum Cement Plant and Tala Hydel Poject will be added.


              Today Dantak is a household name in Bhutan. It has carved a niche in this beautiful foreign country with the goodwill of citizens of Bhutan, Royal patronage of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan and the support of the Indian Embassy in Bhutan.


             The contribution of Dantak can be best summed up by the following quotes:-


“Dantak can very well be proud of their achievements, they have a major share in the development of Bhutan. During my recent visit to New Delhi, I told the PM that Dantak was your best Ambassador”


 


                                          - HIS MAJESTY, THE KING OF BHUTAN (1981)


 


“But what Dantak has built most is friendship and goodwill”                                                                             


                                                -HM, THE QUEEN MOTHER (1985)





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