Utse’s foundation to be seismic resistant

Construction: The three-storey kuenray of Wangduephodrang dzong will be consecrated on April 20.

The kuenray has a Kagyud-Serthi lhakhang on the top floor, kuenray in the middle and a caretaker’s room on the ground floor.

The project director for dzong reconstruction, Kinley Wangchuk said: “The kuenray is 100 percent complete.”

The dzong was destroyed by a fire in 2012 and reconstruction began in 2014.

Reconstruction of the kuenray is the first phase of the project.

Dzongkhag officials, armed forces and other volunteers have been preparing the kuenray for the consecration the last few days. The project director said preparation would be completed by April 19.

As the kuenray is being readied for consecration, Kinley Wangchuk said for the last one week all workers were diverted for minor stone works and timber segregation. Except for the Utse, other works have been halted for now. Works will however resume after the consecration ceremony.

The kuenray is currently being used to recite Jigten Wangchuk and tshogbum by 180 monks in Wangdue to observe 400 years of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal’s arrival in Bhutan. The prayers began last week and will end today.

On the status of other reconstruction works, he said the foundation works for the utse are in full swing and expected to be completed by mid-May. The utse foundation is seismic resistant, the first of its kind in Bhutan, and designed by Wattgalmarini, a Swiss firm.

The project director said around 50 percent of the masonry works for the administration block has been completed.

Currently there are 350 workers including carpenters, masonries and casual labourers. “A few days before there were more than 400 workers, but the painters and carvers has left on completion of Kuenray,” he said.

The dzong is being reconstructed with a fund of Nu 1.3 billion (B). Following the changes in the design of the utse last year, the completion of the dzong has been deferred to 2021 from 2018.

The project director said that as of now Nu 226 million (M) has been spent, of which materials worth Nu 26 M has been stocked.

Statues and other religious materials were procured by Delchen Khodrup Tshogpa, a committee from Wangdue dratshang, chaired by the Lam Neten.

Dawa Gyelmo