The government has halted the proposal of new office constructions in the 12th Plan to carry out an assessment on the space required, works and human settlement minister Dorji Tshering said yesterday during the meet the press.

Lyonpo Dorji Tshering said that there are more than 25 offices construction proposed not only in Thimphu but also in the other regions.

“For now we’ve decided not to go ahead with the proposal of office construction because we’ve to carry out all the assessment to see if there is space available in Thimphu or do some arrangement to carry out new constructions,” lyonpo said.

Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said that there are more than 30 units of office space constructions required including two major office constructions of education and foreign ministries in the 12th Plan.

“On that front, we really wanted to relook into the implementation of new office spaces and requirement of new office space,” lyonchhen said, adding the Cabinet has decided and has asked the human settlement ministry to come up with a standard office that could be implemented in all the ministries.

Lyonchhen explained that it would look into how should the minister’s chamber look like, what should be the office surface area, which officers should have an independent office space and which officers should share the office space like cubicles.

“We’ve also decided and has requested cabinet secretary to form a task force to study all the office spaces in Thimphu and see whether we can physically share those office spaces,” lyonchhen said. “With this review, what we have decided is we wanted to house all the members of Parliament in parliament building and we can also then restructure the office. We have almost done with the survey.”

Lyonchen said that there are about three acres of land near the parliament building reserved for National Council (NC) building construction, which is also one of the planned constructions for the 12th Plan.

“But we wanted to stop the construction, so, we reviewed to see if it was possible to give the Convention Centre building to NC instead of a constructing new one. The government got the approval to hand over this building completely to the NC.”

Lyonchhen said the process has just started and the task force has five months to complete the study.

“Once completed, if there is a need, new offices would be constructed. There would be also the possibility that some offices, if convenient, would be constructed outside Thimphu,” lyonchhen said.

The government would then look into working towards decongesting Thimphu.

Yangchen C Rinzin