Recreation: Thromde officials of Samdrupjongkhar said that the open-air gym equipment that have been lying idle for almost four months in Dewathang are not damaged or defunct as people think they are.

The open-air gym was inaugurated on November 11 to commemorate the 60th birth anniversary of The Fourth Druk Gyalpo. Soon after the inauguration, however, the equipment was removed. Since then the Nu 600,000-machines have been lying useless in the shed beside the highway.

Of the 18 machines, nine have been removed.

Residents said no one explained to them why the equipment was removed.

“There must be something wrong with the equipment,” said Sonam, a resident. “I’m a regular jogger. I used these machines for about two days and the next day all the machines were gone.”

Another resident, Wangyel, asked why not install the equipment again so that people could put them to good use rather than “keeping them without use, exposing to heat and rain that could actually damage the equipment.”

There is also the danger of miscreants stealing or destroying the equipment.

A thromde official said that the machines were removed to be taken to the newly planned recreational park. He added that cement had not set since it was applied only days before the inauguration, making the equipment risky for children.

“We’ll make sure the machines would be utilized and will not be wasted but for that we need to wait for the recreation park where the tendering work will began soon,” the official said.

Yangchen C Rinzin,  Samdrupjongkhar