Phurpa Lhamo |  Gasa

Work on the new Gasa town at Kolikha would begin in the 2020-2021 financial year.

Construction of stormwater drainage, an internal urban road, and electricity connection are the three projects that would start in the later half of this year.

Gasa dzongkhag Municipal Engineer, Kinley Dorji, said that for the stormwater drainage system, the dzongkhag had proposed Nu 21.14 million (M). The system will include service ducts, and ensure that the drains are underground with pedestrian paths on top.

While Nu 12M was proposed for the internal urban route connection, another Nu 2.3M was proposed to bring electricity connectivity.

The projects are funded through the Small Development Project grant and will be executed within two years.

Apart from the three projects, a preliminary study has also been conducted to bring water from the new source Zamjina located around 4km from the new town area.

  Road formation cutting to the new town is underway

Road formation cutting to the new town is underway

Today, water is brought from Shingtachu, located around 6km away from the old Gasa town.

Kinley Dorji said that the old water source was not enough. “The new source would be enough for the whole Gasa settlement,” he said.

Gasa dzongkhag has today spent Nu 2M to clear the site for construction at the new town area, formation cutting, and soiling of the road leading to the area.

Talks to shift the town to Kolikha began in 2015. The Gasa dzongkhag administration is today in process of clearing the 74 acres land. Kolikha is located around 1km from Gasa dzong.

The Gasa town shifting process will be executed in two phases.

In the first phase, the 48 identified plots, as the commercial central zone will be allotted to the shopkeepers. Today, 29 shopkeepers based at the old town have been allocated 5-decimal land each.

“The remaining plot will be assigned as people apply,” Kinley Dorji said.

In the second phase, 18 plots identified as residential and resort area will be allotted after the first phase of the project is complete.

The new town will also have a bus terminal and taxi parking.

Today, the old town located near the Gasa hospital accommodates around 29 shopkeepers and institutional buildings.

Gasa Dzongdag Rinzin Penjore said that the current location didn’t have any place for expansion and moreover, most of the shops in the old town are on state land.

“There is no space to expand in the current area. At the new town, the infrastructure and facilities could be improved.”

After the town is shifted, the old area is expected to accommodate institutional structures including the offices of Bhutan Power Corporation Ltd and the National Housing Development Corporation Limited, among others.

A shop owner at the old town said that because she didn’t own the land her shop stood on, she was glad to move to the new town where His Majesty The King had granted them land.

The 15-year project will complete in 2030.