Neten Dorji | Trashiyangtse

Residents of more than 70 households in Jamkhar, Trashiyangtse, who use Jigtsam lhakhang to conduct their monthly rituals, are worried they would not have a common place to conduct rituals.

Without proper maintenance after the 2011 earthquake, the lhakhang is now on the verge of collapse. Major cracks have been developed on the walls.

Located more than 10kms from the gewog centre, the two-storey lhakhang caters two chiwogs in the village. Residents say the lhakhang is more than 200 years old and it was a private lhakhang before the owner handed it over to the community.

A lay monk, Pema, said if the government doesn’t support the lhakhang renovation, people would not be able to do it on their own. “The lhakhang will turn into ruins.”

He said it does not look good when a village doesn’t have a lhakhang in a religious country like Bhutan.

Laishum-Larjab tshogpa, Kota, said two chiwog tshogpas raised the issue to the gewog and dzongkhag several times but nothing has been done until now.

Residents also claim except for the lhakhang, all other lhakhangs in the gewog was renovated.

Another tshogpa, Ngotong, of Ninda-Paachu chiwog, said the gewog allocated a budget of Nu 7 million in 2012 but it was not approved by officials claiming the lhakhang doesn’t need renovation. “Officials would only know if they visit the lhakhang.”

Meanwhile, Jamkhar gup Karma Tshewang said that gewog administration is well aware of the issue and they expect the lhakhang to be renovated in 12th Plan, as they allocated Nu 300,000 for renovation works.

The gup said if Kholongchu hydro project starts, they would seek donation to reconstruct the lhakhang.