The department of industries (DoI) with the economic affair ministry has approved 21 plots for various business activities at the Dhamdum Industrial Park (DIP) in Samtse to date, officials confirmed.

Officials said 31 people had proposed for plots but only forest and agro-based and services related projects have been allotted the plots. Bhutan Post has also proposed for logistics and warehouse services.

The department’s chief engineer, Kezang Deki, said the committee approved the plots recently.

“As DIP would only host activities with clean technology and low pollution, DoI has put aside some proposals to be looked into by the environment unit,” she said.

She said some of the proposals received are polluting ones and DoI has kept that for further studies. “It would be approved based on the recommendations.”

Kezang Deki said DIP is focused more on agro and wood based and agriculture.

DoI had also received seven mineral based proposals. The proposals have been kept for further discussion. The standard size of the plots is 2.2 acres.

As of now, only Pocket A is ready for plot allotments, officials said. This pocket has 42 plots, each spanning 2.2 acres.

At the site in Samtse, most of the works have been completed.

Engineers at the site said all construction works are completed except for the water supply, which will be completed by the end of the year. Streetlights are being installed.

DoI is also working with Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC) to connect electricity. BPC will invest on the power and bill the business entities.

Meanwhile, DoI has given the proposed business establishments about six months to avail licenses. Businesses have to also get sector clearances.

Once the projects are approved, small-scale industries would fall under Department of Cottage and Small Industries while medium and large scale industries would be under DoI.

Kezang Deki said allotment order and lease agreement signing would be done after the approvals. “People can come and start their construction once their projects are approved.”

A guideline for the construction has also been made and establishments have to go for proper construction and keep green spaces.

Work on the 349-acre park began in August 2016. It is one of the four Special Economic Zone (SEZ) projects in the country.

Under Project Tied Assistance, the government of India is funding Nu 300 million (M) for all these works in the current Plan.

Once complete, DIP would have 77 plots available for companies in the park. The plots vary in size from 0.5 to 2.2 acres, which would be allotted depending on the size and type of companies.

The pocket besides the Dhamdum River is yet to complete.

Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing