Pemagatshel dzong construction to complete by June next year

With 85 % of the physical work completed and a newly designed map for the tower and dratshang approved, project officials are confident that the new Pemagatshel dzong in Denchi will be completed by June 2020.

Initially the deadline of the dzong construction was 2018, but later the deadline was revised until June 2020 due to the change in the design map of the tower.

The project manager of the dzong constrution, Lhaten Dorji said they will be able to complete the construction of the new dzong by 2019 end – six months before the actual deadline.

“As long as we keep receiving funds on time, the work shall definitely go smooth.”

He said the main remaining work is the construction of the main tower of the dzong and other than the tower, the work has reached the roof-level and some finishing works still to be done.

However, the construction faces the shortage of skilled masons and local workers, which the officials say, could delay completion. 

“It has been difficult for us to get the required number of skilled masons, however, it has not affected the overall project,” the project manager said. “The shortage of masons could be because villagers prefer to work for other contractors who pay them more than what the project does.”

It has also been difficult for the project to get the required materials for the dzong construction on time since most of the materials are imported from Phuentsholing.

Due to strikes in Assam and West Bengal areas, it has been difficult for the project to get the materials on time.

The new dzong consists of modern facilities, including local area network, auto-generator, and fire alarm system, and smoke and heat detectors.

However, facilities like an air conditioner and fire hydrant system in the new dzong have not been put in the estimated budget, but the project has kept the provision for these facilities in the dzong.

The new dzong will also have underground parking facilities.

There is a plan for the construction of a dratshang (hostel for monks), but due to limited budget the construction of the dratshang will not be carried out together with the dzong construction.

Lhaten Dorji said the other changes were made to the (window) design to give them a more Bhutanese traditional look.

The project, estimated to cost Nu 530mn and funded by the Government of India, started in June 2012.

Relocated to Denchi in Shumar gewog, the new dzong is about an hour drive from the present Pemagatshel dzong. More than 200 non-Bhutanese and Bhutanese workers are stationed at the site and the dzong is designed using modern technology but with traditional Bhutanese architecture.

Jigme Wangchen from P/gatshel