By July this year, Trashigang town will have its first recreational area, a children’s park in the centre of the town. With the location for the park identified, site development work will begin next week.

A dispute over location has delayed the construction of the park from last year.

But senior architect with the dzongkhag municipal office, Jigme Jamtsho, said the dispute was recently resolved and the park will be constructed on a nine decimal land along the on-going flood mitigation wall in town.

Jigme Jamtsho said because of the rugged terrain in the area, only 40-50 percent of the total land available could be used for the development of the park.

Trashigang town, which is spread over 54 hectares of land, is located in a topographically challenging area, which makes construction and development of any infrastructure in the area difficult. “With no developable land available, we have to consider every inch of land that is available to us,” he said.

Jigme Jamtsho said that given the limited accessible land in town, location for the children’s park was already identified in the Trashigang Structural Plan 2009-2029. “There is no other space where we can develop a recreational centre and facilities such as this has a requirement to be constructed within a walk able distance,” he said, adding that the park would not be a full-fledged children’s park but similar to a mini-children’s park.

Many residents in town have welcomed the news of the new park. Chimi Dema said a proper and safe area for children was required for a long time. “The new park in town will benefit all residents; we don’t have to worry about our children playing by the roadside,” she said.

Another resident, Kinley Wangmo, said that she remains worried about her five-year-old boy being hit by cars and running boulders as several construction works are on going in town. “I hope this park will ensure the safety of my kids and others once it’s is competed,” said that 45-year-old.

However, a few of the residents are also sceptical of the park’s safety measures. “They are constructing the park just by the river-embankment. What if a child falls into the tunnel,” a resident Karma Dorji said. “The municipality should put in place adequate safety features when they construct this park.”

Jigme Jamtsho assured the location is safe for children because there is no vehicular movement in the area and work on the flood-mitigation wall is completed near the location.

The children’s park is being constructed at a cost of Nu 2 million (M) of which about Nu 1.5M was spent in the procurement of the park’s equipment. Meanwhile, an open-air gym will also be constructed in the town.

Younten Tshedup |  Trashigang