Phub Dem | Paro

The reconstruction of Drukgyel Dzong reconstruction which began in 2016 is three months ahead of schedule—64 per cent of the project has been completed.

The workers, according to project official, were currently engaged in the fifth phase, which is estimated to extend until June next year.

The whole structure of the dzong is divided into seven phases.

The fourth phase, according to project manager Namgay Dorji, was completed by the end of April, way ahead of the schedule.

The shortage of quality stone remains a major challenge. “We are struggling with the issue. Beginning the new financial year, we will start with new quotation rate.”

There are 205 Bhutanese workers at the site.

The daily wage of skilled workers ranges between Nu 576 and Nu 315. The unskilled workers are paid Nu 215 according to the minimum wage for the national workforce.

Namgay Dorji said that the project management had proposed to raise the daily wage. If the Cabinet approves, the management will immediately increase the wage. “The increase in wage has to be within the allocated budget, and for that we have to advance the deadline by three months.”

The work is estimated to be completed by December 2022.

Impact of Covid-19

Namgay Dorji said that it was difficult to procure the materials at the rate quoted before Covid-19.

The project is running short of lime and electrical appliances.

“However, the shortage has no impact on the ongoing construction work, as the main structure is built using locally available materials,” Namgay Dorji said.

After Covid-19, around 45 workers temporarily left the work.

As a preventive measure for Covid-19, the management has drafted a contingency plan.

The plan includes restriction of visitors and the institution of a shift system to avoid crowding.

The project also recruited additional workers to monitor and keep records of visitors.

The project restricts the movement of workers and their family members to reduce interaction with the outsiders unless it is an emergency.

Namgay Dorji said that the project procured grocery and necessary items so that the workers did not have to go to crowded areas.