Infrastructure: Despite constant roadblocks along the Punakha-Gasa highway and extreme climatic setbacks, the renovation of Gasa Tashi Thongmoen Dzong is progressing, according to the project manager.

The project manager, Kinley Gyeltshen, said that around 48 percent of the total renovation has been completed as of now.

Last week, the project installed the serto on the utse (central tower) of the dzong.

The renovation work of the 17th century dzong started in August 2014 with Government of India (GoI) funding of Nu 100M and Royal Government funding of Nu 66M.

The project manager said the three-storey utse has been completed except for the traditional painting and murals inside it.

He said phase-one of the drasha (hostel for monks) has also been completed, along with painting and interior work.

The two-storey tshogkhang (dining hall) has also been completed.

Work on construction of a two-storey dzongkhag administration block and two-storey Gasalamai Singye Zimgchung (residence) has also started. “The timber fabrication has been completed and the project workers are underway with the stone masonry works,” Kinley Gyeltshen said.

There are 170 labourers working on the dzong’s renovation.

The manager said that they were left with construction of phase-two of the drasha, administration block and site development.

The dzong’s renovation including the utse, Ta-dzong, Gasalamai Singye Zimchung, the administrative block, court and mini drasha are being constructed through GoI funding. The two-storey four-block drasha, two-storey tshogkhang and classrooms are constructed with Royal Government funding.

Kinley Gyeltshen said while they are optimistic that the dzong’s renovation funded by GoI will be complete by the scheduled deadline in 2018, the completion of the work funded by the Royal Government is on track but depends on timely provision of funds.

Dawa Gyelmo | Wangdue