A prominent sight for visitors and residents alike is the Clock Tower in Thimphu. Before the pandemic, the area around the tall four-face clock was used as a venue for a variety of events and activities, including fund-raising events, movie award ceremonies, trade fairs, live musical performances, and many more.
Today, the city’s main feature is in poor condition. The clock is broken, the slates are shattered, flower pots are broken and the water fountains are dry.
Thimphu residents claim that Thimphu Thromde beautifies the city every time some high official visits, but there is little consistency in the maintenance at other times.
Sonam Penjor, 30, stated that the clock tower is a popular hangout for the young people. Some go to socialize with their friends.
“On weekends, I always go there to hang out with my friends, enjoy the view and relax,” he explained.
He claimed that every time he visited the location, he found the clock broken, the flower pots broken, and the fountains dry.
“The slates were damaged, and no one has fixed them. I’ve been seeing that for over a month. The clock tower is a well-known landmark, although the clock, itself, is damaged. Concerned authorities should take a look at it and maintain its elegance,” he remarked.
Tashi Zangpo, 35, said “Everyone has noticed that Thimphu Thromde begins repairing and maintaining the beauty of the city whenever a high official visits. It is good that they are putting effort into making the city look beautiful, but they should also continue to maintain its beauty throughout, not just when there is an important event or guest coming,” he said.
According to Karma, 25, a tour guide, the clock tower has been there for decades, and it is the responsibility of the appropriate authorities to maintain its beauty.
“There will be many tourists soon, and because the clock tower is in the center of the city, people will notice it first before anything else. Places like these should be maintained in order to attract tourists,” she stated.
“A budget must have already been allocated for its maintenance, but no repair or maintenance is being carried out,” Karma further stated.
Meanwhile, Thimphu Thromde said that the plans to re-develop Norzin Lam and Clock Tower are currently being reviewed with the Thimphu Structure Plan, which is why Thromde has not carried out major maintenance work as it would be a waste of budget. However, if there is any urgent maintenance required with the drains and slabs, etc., then Thromde will address it.