The affordable accommodation has made it convenient for visitors to stay there

Accommodation: When Chorten, 72, from Dhur in Bumthang visited Gasa Tshachu (hot spring) recently, he did not have to carry gas stoves and tents like he did in the past.

This is because the Tshachu now has seven well furnished guest rooms for visitors. Of the seven, three double storied building blocks house 20 rooms each.

Each room can accommodate at least seven people and costs Nu 100 a night. Each block has a common kitchen equipped with water supply and plug points for electrical kitchen appliances.

The other four double storied buildings have attached personal toilets and kitchens and cost Nu 300 a night.

An open area has also been identified beside the guesthouses for those who wish to camp. People have to pay a rent of Nu 100 a night for camping.

The Tshachu ponds are a 10 minute walk from the guesthouse and some elderly visitors say that it is a problem for them to walk especially at night. An elderly man said there is a need of streetlights along the road to Tshachu. However, those with cars prefer to drive to the ponds from their guesthouse.

Gasa dzongda Sonam Jigme said the guesthouses were constructed with GoI funding of Nu 30M through the Small Development Projects (SDP) in the last Plan. Construction of guesthouses started in 2010 and completed in 2013. The dzongkhag started renting  guesthouses from November,  last year.

Construction of ponds and river diversion works were carried out with government funding of Nu 7M.

The dzongda said in the first phase of the 11th Plan, the dzongkhag is executing seven works. GoI has funded Nu12M for the second phase works. These works comprise construction of a common kitchen, resting room (Neykhang), caretaker’s quarter, retention wall, and installation of streetlights on the road to ponds from guesthouse, development of internal footpath and other beautification and site development works.

When these works are implemented, site development works at the Tshachu would be complete, he said.  “GoI has approved a budget of about Nu 5M for the second phase which is the soling and widening of the 2.5km  access road to Tshachu from the dzongkhag road junction.

The guesthouses had to be constructed away from the Tshachu because there was no place nearby. The distance is also expected to help keep the ponds clean. “For the elderly people and people with disabilities, we are planning to start shuttle services in future,” the dzongda said.

Meanwhile, Jangchu from Kurtoe, who was at the Tshachu recently said it has become convenient and cheap for visitors with the guesthouses in place.

Gasa Tshachu has seven ponds with a VIP pond along with shower, changing room and restrooms. Mochu had flooded Gasa Tshachu on May 26, 2010.

By Nima Wangdi