60 percent of works complete 

Choki Wangmo | Tsirang

The construction of the Sarpang dzong will be delayed by about a year. As of today,  only 60 percent of the construction is complete.

A total of 220 workers — 200 local and 20 foreign workers — are busy at the construction site in Sarpang Tar. Two teams engaged in FRP (fibre reinforced plastic) and GRFC (glass fibre reinforced concrete) are working on contract.

The dzong construction started in 2017 and was expected to be completed next year.

However, project manager Sangay Kinga, said that the project could miss the deadline next year and would be completed by June 2024.

He said that due to budget and time constraint, some construction activities such as Tendrelthang and Neykhang construction with about five structures were phased out according to the revised project period.

Sarpang dzong construction, which began in 2017, is now likely to complete only in 2024

“Although the pandemic hindered our progress,  work continued during the period in a containment mode,” he said.

The project also faced shortage of skilled workers during the pandemic. The construction works picked up after the Covid-19 relaxations.

“We have now skilled local workers, trained by foreign labourers who stayed in the country during the lockdowns,” Sangay Kinga said.

Constructed over more than three acres, the dzong is a blend of traditional designs with modern amenities. The outside structures are disabled-friendly.

The special feature of the dzong is the natural lighting system and the 250-capacity conference hall in the administrative block.

The physical construction of administrative blocks is completed and workers are currently building the utse, and 150-capacity rabdey building, among others.

Local workers are carrying out carpentry and masonry work. Local labourers also built three out of 13 blocks as a part of the capacity building initiative of the project. This is expected to help local labourers gain skills required to work in reinforced concrete structures, especially the steelworks.

Sangay Kinga said that to retain skilled labourers, the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs had revised 80 percent of the pay. In the past, they were paid Nu 215 to Nu 486 per day with a Zorig Chusum allowances for the skilled labourers.

“The basic pay of the workers was low in the past. We want to attract more local workers with increased pay,” he said.

The project has spent 72 percent of the total budget. The estimated budget of the project is Nu 1 billion.