Samtse residents are waiting for the eco-park the dzongkhag administration developed to be operational.

Some have also started asking if there was something wrong with the project.

A resident said the project had been delayed for a long time. “The construction works are also not completed,” he said, adding that the works were also not done properly.

“The water connection is still not done and I heard they are looking for a source to connect the water.”

Located at Leecheybari, the 1.96 acres Eco Park project came as a spin-off from a previous swimming pool for which the construction started in 2013-2014 but remained incomplete.

Residents say the pool did not get connected with water and it was left for about a year.

Later, the site was designated as a nature park as per the local area plan.

It would be operational by December this year, according to officials from the dzongkhag administration.

Dzongkhag planning officer, Tashi, said the swimming pool was decided to create a larger Eco Park, as Samtse did not have such place. “Many Bhutanese would cross the border and travel to Siliguri, India.”

The planning officer said as the work continued with the new design and plan, it took time and people misunderstood it as a delay.

Meanwhile, facilities such as garden, rock garden, children’s playground, and cafeteria were then added. A water tank also has been installed. The park has two swimming pools for adult and children. It also has an open-air gym and a footpath.

Officials explained that completion also took time as different works were constructed separately. However, today the construction of the Eco Park has been completed. The last package of constructing a cafeteria was completed in June this year.

“We are in the process of developing a management plan,” Tashi said, adding that the plan would be about the guidelines on operating the Eco Park.

The dzongkhag administration will outsource the operation of the Eco Park. A total of Nu 6.18 million was invested to develop the park.

Rajesh Rai | Samtse