The government has put on hold plans to build around 50 to 60 new government offices in Thimphu in line with its plan to better rationalize available resources and also decongest Thimphu in the process.
Lyonchhen (Dr) Lotay Tshering announced that the government had formed a committee and given them five months to come up with a strategy which included decongesting Thimphu.
The Foreign Minister Lyonpo (Dr) Tandi Dorji said that government agencies are being given the option of building their offices in areas outside Thimphu like in other Dzongkhags like Punakha and Paro and also in outskirts like outside Thimphu, Hongtso etc.
He said that the aim is to both decongest Thimphu and also enhance the socio-economic activity in these areas.
Lyonpo said that the current problem be it the Supreme Court or the Department of Culture is the construction of huge structures and poor utilization of resources.
He said that the MoWHS would come up with uniform standards for various offices that would also include modern innovations like cubicles and and glass panels instead of closed door offices.
Lyonpo also pointed out that too many government structures in Thimphu occupy too much land. He gave the example of a small government cottages occupying up to an acre of land each and more.
The minister said that such land could be used in a better way to fit in more government structures.
The foreign minister said that the agencies would have two choices. One is if they want to stay in Thimphu then they would have to move into old offices and the current space but if they wanted to construct a new office then they would be asked to look for areas outside Thimphu.
The cabinet secretary will be leading the task force to study the issue and present a report to the cabinet by June.
One of the underlying concerns of an over congested Thimphu is its contribution to strong inequity with most development work already happening in Thimphu.
The construction boom has resulted in a huge increase in the cost of land in Thimphu itself.