The construction of the new Thimphu dzongkhag office at Debsi, which was deferred since the 11th Plan, would begin next year.

Thimphu dzongdag, Dorji Tshering, said they are preparing the drawings and would submit it to the Cabinet after the parliament session in January.

He said it would take about three months to float the tenders for the construction after the Cabinet’s approval. “We will be able to start the construction by the next fiscal year.”

The dzongkhag administration requested to defer the construction of the new dzongkhag office to the 12th Plan during the dzongkhag’s midterm report of the 11th Plan in Thimphu reasoning that the project could not be implemented within the dzongkhag’s annual budget ceiling.

The budget for the construction was estimated at Nu 100 million.

Dorji Tshering said that of the eight gewogs, people of seven gewogs would have easy access to the dzongkhag office. “While it would be far for people of Chang gewog, they could avail the services from the gewog office and also online.”

Although there are some sections of the people, who feel the new dzongkhag office would be a bit far, the dzongdag said he did not receive any complaints so far. “I am sure many local leaders and people are excited about the new location.”

Former Thimphu dzongdag, Tshewang Rinzin, who is now the National Council member of the dzongkhag, said the existing dzongkhag office complex falls under Thimphu Thromde and the dzongkhag does not own the land.

He said the new location would benefit the people of the dzongkhag.

Meanwhile, people of Yusipang and Hongtsho are worried if the dzongkhag might relocate the gewog office from Simtokha to Debsi.

Yusipang tshogpa, Jamyang Lhamo, said people in her chiwog claim it would be convenient if the gewog office was relocated to their chiwog or retained at Semtokha.

She said people have to travel about 12 to 13kms from their home to the new allocated dzongkhag office. “It takes 8 to 9 kilometers to reach the current gewog office in Semtokha.”

She said that since most people are farmers, who do not own private vehicles, travelling to Debsi would be a problem.

The tshogpa also said that although budget was allocated for the gewog office construction, the construction has not begun. “We raised our concerns to the gewog tshogdu, which was held last year to look into it.”

Chang gewog mangmi, Sonam Zangmo said they are still identifying an area to construct the gewog office. “We will be able to start gewog office construction only after finding a suitable location.

Sonam Zangmo said she was happy with the new dzongkhag office location. “Except for people in Yusipang and Hongstho, it would be convenient for people of other gewogs because they are stationed near Debsi.” she said. “The final survey of the new land was carried out a week ago. We are hopeful the construction will begin next year.”

Sonam Choden