The country will have its first ever water sporting recreational center in Wangdue called ‘Druk Water World’ once all the mandatory processing is completed.
Druk Water World is promoted by Tshering Wangmo, who’s the owner of Hotel Thimphu Towers. Kinga Tshering, the project advisor said that it is a very modest project with paddle boats and rafts and tents and the costs are expected to be minimal.
“It will be developed as the first major tourist attraction but everything would be natural and not a fancy luxurious setup. The project will qualify as an investment for a Small Cottage Industry with a modest budget of Nu 10 mn,” said Kinga Tshering.
Some of the facilities that Druk Water World is expected to provide are a docking station for the tourists and rafters coming from Punakha, tents for room and boarding, a temporary deck for restaurants, shower facilities, rafting, children play areas like paddle boat and kayaking and swimming lessons, healthy sports in the area, waterfront picnic areas, and hands-on Bhutan agro farming experiences among others.
Druk Water World, as the first water sporting recreational center in Bhutan, is aimed at providing an alternative and a healthy lifestyle for the community which includes both locals and the visitors.
“Druk Water World shall add to the Gross National Happiness activity that constitutes community vitality of time and space usage that is both environmentally friendly and leads to a healthy lifestyle. It also supports the policy of product diversification for our tourism sector based on water bodies in addition to the existing rafting services,” said Kinga Tshering.
He added, it is the only viable productive use for the property that otherwise will be partially submerged after damming of the Punatsangchu Hydropower Project since there can be no other development structures in the area.
The exact location, Kinga Tshering said is between hotel Puna Cottages and Dragon Nest, on a sprawling 10 acres of property with almost 600 meters of waterfront property.
“With the upcoming Punatsangchu Hydropower projects, part of this private property is being submerged and the only viable activity is that of water sports. Besides all Dzongkhag and National Environment impact assessments and regulations will have to be complied with.”
Kinga Tshering said that since it is a non-polluting recreational activity, there will be no negative impact on the environment. “There will be no use of motorized boats except for rescue purposes. Sorting and removal of waste materials will be given the highest attention. In fact, this shall provide alternative transportation between Bajo town and Misina Township thereby saving time for the commuters and also displacing consumption of the fossil fuels by using cars for transportation.
More important than anything I think it is important to know that it’s going to be a GNH community Park and not a Disney land, Kinga Tshering emphasized.
The project awaits clearance for impacts and the mitigation measures, oil spillage and aquatic life, 100 feet buffer, small structures, waste management on oil spilling, and river pollution prevention.
The works will begin right away once the processing is complete and the project obtains all the necessary clearances.