Dzong completion date deferred to 2021 from 2018

Reconstruction: The three-storied Kuenray of Wangduephodrang dzong will be completed by the end of March to mark the Zhabdrung Kuchoe, which celebrates the 400th year of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal’s arrival in Bhutan.

Project director with the dzong reconstruction, Kinley Wangchuk said they were optimistic that the three-storied Kuenray (congregation hall) will be ready before the Zhabdrung Kuchoe.

He attributed the progress to the immense support from His Majesty The King, the Prime Minister, Cabinet and other concerned agencies and government of India for timely release of fund.

As of now, the government of India has released Nu 330 million (M) of which Nu 195 M has been spent. The Indian government has committed Nu 1 billion. The funding would be spent on structures, said the project director.

He said expenditure from the Nu 323.8M donations from His Majesty The King and people will be spent on Nangtens. His Majesty donated Nu 230M. As of now, Nu 74M has been spent.

The project director said that as of now three floors of Kuenray structures has been completed. Works like internal finishing, flooring, door and window shutters, paintings and fabrication of altars of the Kuenray are in full swing, he said.

He said 50 percent of the foundation works of Utse (central tower) is also completed. The seismic resistant Utse foundation is first of its kind in Bhutan designed by Wattgalmarini, a Swiss firm.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay during his visit to the dzong reconstruction site on January 26 expressed his happiness with the work progress at the site.

Kinley Wangchuk said mass-concerting works of Utse is being done by LNT with the help of Punatsangchu authority. Masonry works on the administration block of the dzong has also started, said the project director. Designs on other parts of the dzong are still under discussion.

The project director said there are around 400 workers at the dzong reconstruction site including painters, sculptures, painters and carvers.

Meanwhile, the project director said because of the change in design scope the completion deadline of the dzong reconstruction is now being deferred to 2021 from 2018.

The 17th century fortress that used to house more than 250 monks was completely destroyed in a fire in June 2012. The main works at the dzong reconstruction took off in September 2014.

Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue