The government is in talks with proprietors to buy four private structures including three private schools.
The private structures include the Covid-19 hospital at Taba, Nima High School in Thimphu, Kelki High School at Kanglung and Wangsha School in Phaduna at Punakha.
According to a Cabinet directive on April 25, the government has approved the total revised value of Nu 188.971M for the acquisition of private property at Taba which is currently used as a Covid-19 hospital with the payment of additional items amounting to Nu 14.924M including the cost of lift or elevator and shower cubicle which have not been installed yet.
“The Cabinet has decided to allow the property owner to install the lift or elevator and shower cubicle as per their designs,” the directive states.
The Cabinet has also directed the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to coordinate and monitor the installation works.
The Cabinet has also directed MoF to initiate the valuation of Nima high school and submit the report to the Cabinet and expedite the acquisition of the property of Kelki High School in Kanglung and Wangsha School in Phaduna.
During the meet-the-press session on May 6, Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said that there are two buildings at Taba, where one is occupied and one is empty. “The property was on sale and the government felt the need.”
Lyonchhen said that the department of culture was also looking for a big campus for the Royal Academy for Performing Arts (RAPA).
“By then there was a need for a Covid-19 hospital and the structure was suitable for the Covid-19 hospital and easily doable. The building is a high-end apartment,” Lyonchhen said.
Lyonchhen said that after His Majesty’s visit to the hospital, His Majesty The King commanded that it could be used as a regular hospital after the Covid-19.
“However, no further decisions have been made so far,” Lyonchhen said.
Lyonchhen also mentions that in the east, His Majesty has also given the Royal guest house in Mongar as Soelra to the health ministry to convert it into Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck Mother and Child Hospital for the eastern region.
Lyonchhen said that the Kelki School in Kanglung was empty and the structure was immediately usable as a Covid-19 hospital.
When it was used as a Covid-19 hospital, there was an understanding that if it is on sale the government will buy it. Otherwise, the government is willing to pay rent for the number of months they have used.
“The cost negotiation dialogue is going on. Should it be reasonable we will buy it. It will be used for health or education purposes in the future,” Lyonchhen said.
Lyonchhen said that the government is planning to comeup with at least 50-bed multidisciplinary hospital at Taba. The land is below the road and the land ownership is already transferred to the health ministry. The health ministry is working on it.
“We heard that Nima School in Taba is also for sale, we are looking into it,” Lyonchhen said.
Officials have estimated the cost of the structures with a team from the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement, MoF and specialists.
Lyonchhen said that Phaduna structures will be used for De-Suung skilling project and are estimated to cost around Nu 140M. “We are in the process of loan transferring.”
Kelki High School is estimated to cost around Nu 150M to 160M. Taba Covid-19 hospital is estimated to cost around Nu 180M to Nu 190M.
However, Lyonchhen said that the rates have been submitted by the property owners. “Negotiations are going on and nothing is finalised,” Lyonchhen said.