A ropeway will transfer construction materials to the Phajoding monastery conservation project site. The ropeway cable, around 5 kms, will be installed at an estimated budget of less than one third of the total budget of Nu 200 mn set aside in the 11th five year plan for the renovation of Phajoding Lhakhang.
According to the official taking care of the project, the ropeway unlike a road will not damage the water sources and forest areas in Phajoding. Also the ropeway cable can be reused for the 12th FYP projects planned in Lingzhi and Bashong.
“The reason for the ropeway is also because we want to maintain Phajoding to be pristine as far as possible and respect the sanctity of the site because it is a meditation site,” the official said.
Due to various impacts on water sources, forest destruction and some security reasons, DoC plans to build the ropeway from Sangaygang instead of Mothithang. The project will install a tower and put buckets to transfer the construction materials. It will operate it for the duration of one year to transfer materials only.
“We don’t see any risk in transferring the materials through the ropeway. Even if accidents occur then the things won’t be falling on someone’s head, and no individuals will be transported through ropeway,” official said.
Finding skilled workers willing to work in a high altitude to lay the ropeway is one of the challenges facing the project. However, DoC has a timeline of around two months to work out the altitude allowance for workers.
The official said, “During winter harsh months, we will not have the workers to work at the work site. They will be working in Debsi, all the fabricating works will be done in winter, whereby during summer and spring, we will transfer the materials at site and start with the renovation work.”
Another challenge is the lack of access roads to the site. Although the project planned to use a logging road from Jemina, however, it was stopped as it was cutting through the forest.
He said that the project will not invest a huge amount on short-term goal, such as constructing a road that benefits nobody as there is no settlement in the area.
Meanwhile, the prefabrication works have already started as the labour camp has been set up at Debsi. A prefabricated structure for the nangtens is completed. Also the emergency measures have been implemented at the site to prevent the monastery from collapsing. There are around 36 labourers carrying out the timber-work. As and when the ropeway is up, the fabricated timber components will be transported to the monastery site.
“We are hopeful to complete the work within this plan period, even though the time left is only two years. We are finding a different way out so that we can involve a private contractor,” the official added..
So far, DoC has eight such projects in the pipeline; Phajodhing Lhakhang, Wangdue Dzong, Trashigang Dzong, Pemagatshel Dzong, Gasa, Paro Taa Dzong, Sarpang Dzong and the National Conservation Laboratory.