Monument: Works to rebuild Drugyal Dzong have begun, said  Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, who announced the reconstruction plan on February 5, coinciding with the birth of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey.

Paro dzongkhag has identified locations to collect timber from and other construction materials on February 11. Officials consulted the 12 landowners of the area near the dzong on compensating them for using their land to store the raw materials and worker camps, among others.

A project management committee is constituted with a project manager under the home minister, and the Prime Minister would personally oversee the work progress.

Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay said unlike other dzong construction projects, the Drugyal Dzong reconstruction works would start simultaneously.

“While architects are preparing designs, the construction of road to the forest to fetch timber will begin and the collection of other raw materials near the dzong at the same time,” Lyonchoen said.

The architects would refer to old pictures of the dzong and replicate it.

Finance minister Namgay Dorji said his ministry is working on sourcing the Nu 100 million for the first year of construction. The project will be funded with internal revenue.

“It’s best funded by the government for interest of time,” he said. Seeking foreign aid would entail preparing project documents and proposals, which would take substantial time.

The Fortress of Victory is to commemorate three occasions: the birth of HRH The Gyalsey, the birth year of Guru Rinpoche, and the 400th year of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal’s advent in Bhutan.

Emphasising the importance of the dzong, His Majesty commanded the government to reconstruct the historic monument.

While the project has a tight schedule of two years, Lyonchoen said it would be completed in two and half years, that is when the government would leave office.

Experts are analysing the quality of the boulders from the ruins, whether or not to use them.

Lyonchoen said that it is a big opportunity for the people to restore the dzong to its former glory and grandeur.

“The government welcomes contributions from interested individuals and parties towards the rebuilding of the dzong,” Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay said.

The government would train youth in various trades and employ them in the project.

The dzong was a symbol of victory over a multitude of foreign and local enemies threatening the peace and sovereignty of the country. A fire incident razed it to the ground in 1951.

Tshering Palden