Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue

A matchbox town. Clustered. With only room enough for internal roads, a basketball court, and mini-parks crammed between concrete buildings,  visitors and residents called Bajo town many names.

However, recently, the town has undergone some major facelifts attracting positive feedback from both visitors as well as residents.

On September 30, Bajo’s newest attraction — Ghaden Lingka park — was inaugurated. With over 3,200 square meters of land (almost 80 decimals) identified as a leisure park in the heart of the town, the residents, especially children are already experiencing a homely environment.

Following the inauguration, children and adults marched into the beautifully lit park — taking a stroll in the open and some pictorial selfies near the water fountain.

Power supply for the lamps inside the park is from the 36 solar panels installed inside the park

According to the dzongkhag planning officer, Passang Dorji, Bajo town had been subject to criticism from many people. “The current dzongdag since 2018 had wanted to give Bajo town a makeover. In the first phase, it was the mini-park. Then the Gadhen Lingka central park. He had wanted it to be an example to other dzongkhags as well.”

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony on September 30, Wangdue Dzongdag Sonam Jamtsho said that despite some delay due to the pandemic, the park was dedicated to the 40th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty The King.

Further, the dzongdag said that the work was driven after His Majesty The King gifted the book ‘The Well-Tempered City’, which related to urban towns.

Consultation work for the park began in 2018 and the groundwork in 2019.

Passang Dorji said that a consultant who presented an ‘all-age inclusive park’ within a minimal budget was selected.

Today, the park features a special open-air theatre, gazebos, water fountains, a cafeteria, and a network of footpaths.

The planning officer said that the park has adequate space for workout enthusiasts, a place to converse and pray for the elderlies, and for the young ones to play.

The park is fitted with 36 solar panels that supply power to all the lamps inside the park. Passang Dorji said that panels had the capacity to light up entire Bajo town, a prospect, which will be explored in the future.

The cafeteria inside the park will open this month. The fund earned from the cafeteria would be used for the maintenance work inside the park.

A security guard has also been recruited to look after the park. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras would be installed in the park in the coming days. Also, municipal officials would go around the park for around two weeks advising the visitors on the do and don’ts inside the facility.

Passang Dorji said that while the park would be open throughout the day, in the future it might be closed for a week or two to ensure that the grasses inside the park can grow.

The project worth more than Nu 20 million (M) was funded by the government. Smaller donations from external organisations were also sought.

Meanwhile, as part of the beautification works, a flower plantation and opening of the Gadhen Lingka mini-park above Bajo town were among other activities carried out.

In the future, dzongkhag officials also plan to open a park exhibiting flowers in the extended town area.

Edited by Tshering Palden