DoR is one of the oldest departments in the country. The requirement and emphasis of the country in the past had been connectivity and not much on standards and quality. The organization has so far successfully delivered on the mandates assigned by the government. Road development had been and is the topmost development activity being pursued by the past and present governments. This is evident through the huge budget allocations made by successive governments in the road sector. Along the journey of development, the efforts of the department has therefore, been channelled into delivering the government’s physical targets.
The department has over the years established substantially large network of roads in the country. As some important road connections have been made, the road users are increasingly expecting higher standard and comfortable roads. Naturally as the country is transitioning to a more developed country, there is a necessity to build roads and highways at par with the developed countries standards with state of the art technology. Therefore, a transition point has been reached for the department to re-organize and establish itself as a dynamic professional institution in the country that can support the government in its future development endeavours.
The first office set up for construction of road was “Bhutan Road Project” in 1959 headed by a Principal Engineering Officer for conducting a feasibility study for the construction of Phuentsholing-Thimphu Highway. With the commissioning of the five year plan in 1961 it was renamed as
“Bhutan Engineering Services” headed by a Chief Engineer for constructing 179 km Phuentsholing-Thimphu highway. In 1979 it was renamed as Public Works Department.
The Public Works Department was initially under the Ministry of Development and later under Ministry of Social Services. In the year 2000, it was renamed as Department of Roads. Under the Ministry of Communications, the Department of Roads and the Department of Urban Development and Housing were the two main technical Departments.
Department of Roads came under the purview of Ministry of Works and Human Settlement when it was bifurcated from the erstwhile Ministry of Communications in 2003.