About 15 participants have registered until yesterday evening to participate in an architectural design competition worth Nu 100,000, that the Thimphu thromde announced to develop the Clock Tower Square.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee, said, there is a need to give the clock tower square a face-lift because the nearby buildings tower over the clock tower.  “Even the water fountain would be renovated, as the current one is defunct.”

The thromde plans to renovate the area with a budget of Nu 5 million. Registration for the competition was opened from September 7 – 14. However, it is likely to be extended.

The thrompon said it is an open competition. “We will get only certain designs if we limit it with some criteria but if we keep it open, we could get different ideas and more innovative designs.”

He said that they, however, encourage designs where Bhutanese architectural aspects would be included. “The height of the tower would be about 20 to 25 metres.”

City Corporation and National Urban Development Corporation (NUDC) built the clock tower in 1987. The area was once used as a parking space.

The thrompon said that although it is the most used space within the thromde for major events and programmes, there was no major maintenance done at the square except for repairs of few tiles and marbles.

As of now, thromde charges Nu 10,000 a day as hiring charge to conduct events and programmes . Thromde officials say that once renovated, the area would be closed for traffic as it is today and the square would remain as an amphitheatre.

Rinchen Zangmo