Chimi Dema | Dagana

To initiate the development of the 56km Dagala trek route from Genekha, Thimphu, to Dagana, the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) in collaboration with the dzongkhag administration of Dagana began a route survey on March 3.

The survey of the entire route was completed in October last year.  The ongoing survey will study the feasibility of an alternative route from Dompa towards Tseza gewog in Dagana.

If the alternative route can be used, Tseza gup, Phurba, said that a bridge would not have to be constructed in between Dompa and the gewog. “This could reduce expenses.”

The alternative route would also shorten travel distance and time, he said.

“It’s a two-day trek from Dompa to Dagana and takes at least 20 hours currently,” he said, adding that it would take only around 14 hours through the alternative route.

A team comprising the gewog engineer, mangmi, two village tshogpas and four villagers is conducting the survey.

The survey is expected to be completed tomorrow.

Gup Phurba said that once the survey was completed, a detailed report would be prepared and submitted to TCB for budget release.

TCB’s official said that the development would focus mainly on the traditional route under Dagana.

The project will develop campsites, short bridges, signage boards along the route, and roadside amenities in the dzongkhag.

Although the initial budget of Nu 5 million was approved, an official with TCB said that an additional Nu 0.5M had been approved upon re-prioritising the activities.

The official also said that TCB was planning to collaborate with Thimphu dzongkhag to develop the route.

Dagala gup, who is also Thimphu dzongkhag Tshogdu Thrizin, Gado, said there is no appropriation of the budget at the moment.

Another aspect of tourism promotion in Dagana is developing homestays in villages.  Dagana has already 21 identified homestays.

Dagana’s economic development officer, Tshering Ngedup, said that homestays couldn’t be operated without tourists this time. “We need to certify homestays first.”