Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue

Around 35 funeral rites were performed at Wangdue dzongkhag’s cremation ground near Wangdue dzong this year alone.

According to the crematorium caretaker, Ugyen Zangmo, this is a rise from around four before the pandemic.

With more bodies turning up at the dzongkhag’s crematorium, the narrow road leading to the crematorium, lack of proper guesthouse, and other facilities such as kitchen have become a major concern.

Considering these issues, the dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) members during its 10th session last week decided to relocate the crematorium.

Wangdue Rabdey’s Drungchen Nima said that the current crematorium lacked a proper space to keep the corpses and rooms for the relatives to stay.

He said that Tshochungthang, located near the existing crematorium near the Punatshangchhu which had enough space and was an ideal site for a crematorium.

Following discussions on the clearances from the environment and forest sector, the members agreed on the new location.

The members suggested building guesthouses and a lhakhang to perform the rituals, among other structures at the new site. 

According to chief dzongkhag engineer Tshering Chophel, the new location was below the existing crematorium and belonged to Wnagdue Rabdey. He added that a road could be connected to the area from a different route.

A proper survey is yet to be conducted to estimate budget and work to begin.

Meanwhile, members discussed blacktopping the road to the existing crematorium.

A recent survey estimated  blacktopping and drainage costs to be around Nu 2.7 million. While concerns over parking space at the crematorium were raised, DT members deliberated that the existing location didn’t have room for expansion.

DT Thrizin Tenzin Wangchuk said that investing money on the crematorium, which was to be relocated, will waste budget.

The DT forewent blacktopping and decided to maintain the road if the relocation took time.

Edited by Tshering Palden