Thromde: The existing telecom office near Wangdue Dzong and Wangdue lower secondary school will be relocated to create space for the dzong on completion of the reconstruction project, as per the draft structure plan of Wangdue thromde.

The draft plan was presented during the public consultation with the works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden, yesterday at Bajo higher secondary school.

Expect for a few who raised concerns about land pooling and some villagers near Bajo Lhakhang not wanting to be included within the thromde’s boundary, the majority present at the consultation agreed to the draft plan.

As per the draft structure plan, the dzong being the priority should be kept socially viable and culturally vibrant, and the surrounding areas would be handed over to the dzong.

The existing area does not have enough surrounding space. The private houses near the dzong would also be relocated, however the owners will be consulted. The plan also includes beautification of the surrounding areas of Bajo Lhakhang.

The area above Punatsangchhu, below the existing Bajo town, will be developed and beautified with a recreational centre and sidewalks. On completion of the Punatsangchhu dams, the water level is estimated to reach around 1,200m and also due to glacier lake outburst threat from Lunana, it cannot be used for housing.

However, since the river flow will be reduced, a retaining wall will be constructed against the riverside and the area developed.

As per the draft plan, the highway road to Trongsa that passes through the dzong area and Wangdue school will be straightened and taken between Wangdue lower secondary school and the military training centre. However, the army area will not be disrupted.

The draft plan also includes a plan to develop Rinchengang village, which is situated on the hill facing Wangdue Dzong.

Rada Wangchuk, a Bajo resident said while the town needs the population to thrive and survive, it also needs sidewalks, parks and recreational areas, as included in the draft plan. One of the problems with the existing Bajo town is not having enough open public spaces, he said. The existing Bajo town has 140 plots on 40 acres of land.

Officials said the views and observations expressed by the public yesterday would be incorporated in the plan before finalising the structure plan, following which the ministry will develop local area plans. The final structure plan and local area plan is expected to be completed by this June.

The structure plan is to be implemented by 2035.

The thromde consists of the areas including Bajo Lhakhang in the north, Wangdue Dzong in the south, the police station area in the west and forest line (above the present dzongkhag administration office) in the east and Bajo town in the centre.

The estimated population of Bajo town is around 11,700.

Dawa Gyelmo | Wangdue