Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

Mongar Dratshang’s clergy and dzongkhag officials say more than eight-decade-old Dzong requires a major renovation.

Mongar Lam Neten Ngawang Tenzin said the wooden parts of the Dzong’s utse were rotting and the walls cracked. Shabkor, he added, also needed renovation and some design changes, and utse’s three lhakhangs also required expansion.

“It is difficult to accommodate in the three lhakhangs—Lamai lhakhang, Goenkhang and Sangay Lhakhang, especially during Kuche Bumde (annual ritual),” Lam Neten said, adding that fire safety measures was of utmost importance.

Lam also raised concerns about the safety of the relics and the discipline of the monks in the absence of toilet inside the kuenrey, especially at night, as the monks are compelled to go out of the main entrance to use the toilet attached to the new Dzong.

“There’s urgent need to close the main entrance with security measures after expanding the small courtyard and constructing toilet within the kuenrey,” he said.

The congestion issue was addressed after the district administration and district court were constructed and separated from dratshang. However, dzongkhag officials said that the congestion issue arose particularly during tshechu and gathering. Currently, tshechu is conducted in the courtyard of new Dzong, which is outside of the kuenrey.

The issue was also reviewed in the dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT) last October and was resolved to forward it to the government for budgetary support. Dzongkhag officials said the issue was discussed in the two previous DT sessions and submitted to the Department of Culture and Gross National Happiness Commission for funding. 

During question-answer session in the May 2019 parliamentary session, MP Ugyen Wangdi asked the Home Minister on if there was the possibility of renovation of Mongar Dzong in the current Plan justifying that 60-year-old Dzong required immediate renovation, especially to ensure safety of the monks and lamas residing in the Dzong.

Lyonpo Sherub Gyeltshen said that Mongar Dzong had been renovated and office extension was done in 10th and continued in 11th Plan and that if there was need for any further renovation or maintenance, the issue should be brought in by Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT). 

Dzongkhag has allocated Nu 15 million in the 12th Plan for the minor maintenance of the Dzong and for emergency cases. Dzongkhag officials said that the cost of the Dzong maintenance could cross Nu 300 million.