The first phase of Kholongchu Hydro Energy Limited (KHEL) colony in Doksum, Trashiyangtse, has begun.

Although there are no signs of any major civil works, the commencement of the colony’s construction is one of the latest developments at the project since it began the pre-construction works in September 2015.

The phase I of the colony would comprise 40 residential buildings (113 units) with five non-residential buildings for office, guesthouse, multipurpose hall and two clubs. The structures are expected to complete towards the end of 2020.

Project officials said that initially during construction of the project, in addition to the 200 units that is expected to be leased from private plot owners of the new Doksum township, a further 130 units will be constructed including some temporary accommodation units which will also be converted into permanent residential units later.

It was learnt that if required, an additional 103 units (28 buildings) would also be constructed in the second phase depending on the need.

“Some of the power generation technologies are labour-intensive, which may require an increased level of manpower and hence more accommodation,” said an official.

About 498 employees would be accommodated during the construction and the number would drop once the project is commissioned and the main contractors leave.

Officials said that once the office buildings in Doksum is completed, the main office currently located at Yangtse would be shifted to the new Doksum township.

In addition to Nu 100 million (M) that was spent on developing approach roads to the colony, the construction of the first phase of the colony would cost Nu 504M.

About Nu 30M was spent on connecting the water supply and sewerage system at the site.

Kuensel learnt that the construction of Phase II entails an outlay of Nu 400M. In addition, a school and a BHU are estimated to cost about Nu 150M.

In total, about Nu 1.2 billion would be spent on the colony and related infrastructural developments.

Officials said that works at KHEL colony began in early 2016 with land acquisition and then designing the colony master plan. In early 2016, water supply system construction was started followed by construction of a 3.4km intra-colony road, which was completed this year.

The construction of the remaining structures was kept in abeyance in keeping with the general progress plan for the main works, an official said.

Land acquisition, coordination with stakeholders and construction of water supply infrastructure were some of the challenges in starting the colony, according to officials.

It was learnt that the project would surrender some of the units that it would lease from the private residents in Doksum once the project starts. However, the project would rent 120 units for 20 years.

The colony infrastructures are expected to be built in conformity to the traditional architecture facades and will showcase the co-existence of project structures with those of the local community, said an official.

The co-location of the local plot owners and project will also lead to the sharing of common facilities like school and health units, the construction of which will be funded by the project.

Project officials said that the main works for the project is expected to be awarded soon and KHEL is at the moment mainly engaged in the tendering process.

Meanwhile, residents in Yangtse said that the commencement of works at Doksum suggests that the project would soon materialise.

“We had almost given up hopes on the project because it has remained dormant for a long time,” said a resident, Karma. “I heard that they are building houses in Doksum. We are glad that the project had not failed.”

Younten Tshedup | Trashiyangtse