This was a recent remark by Barack Obama, the president of United States“So all told, our aging transportation infrastructure costs American businesses and families about $130 billion a year. That’s a tax on our businesses; that’s a tax on our consumers. It is coming out of your pocket. It’s a drag on our overall economy.” Food for thought for us the Bhutanese and the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement in particular and perhaps the Ministry of Finance too. I did a quick search on google for 'cost of bad roads to the economy', and the results of the search was enormous amount of information on it. This consideration is very important to the Bhutanese because our transportation system is fully dependent on the road network. In the words of Barack Obama, the citizen are paying additional tax because of the sad state of our transportation system. Any good we buy in the market could be of lower costs due to lower transportation costs with a good road network, the cost of fuel for our cars could be lower, the wear and tear of the cars could be lower etc. Import of fuel is today one of the biggest reasons for the rupee crunch, and therefore a sizable saving in rupees will happen with better road networks. It is perhaps difficult to experience the sad state of our roads ( except for the one between Thimphu-Phunthsoling-Paro) in a Prado/land crusier or a Range Rover. Electricity, good road connectivity and perhaps telephonic coverage are the essentials for a balanced development.
I hope the government and the concerned agencies give this a serious thought and pave a smoother road for all us towards GNH.