Complete works to be done by 2021
It has been three years and five months since the reconstruction works of the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong began after the fortress was completely razed down in the tragic fire of 24th June, 2012.
With about 47 percent of the works having completed so far, the construction works are in full swing with130 masons and 70 helpers working in the Dzong site and 70 carpenters and 30 helpers working in Samthang timber fabrication workshop.
According to the management, one third of structures in the first courtyard have also been completed with the installation of the Gyeltshen in May this year. The management said that the remaining structures in the first courtyard, except the main entrance will be completed by the end of June, 2018 which is excluding the internal finishing, paintings, electrification and installation of Nangtens.
“We have completed the three storied Kuenrey structure in all respect in March 2016 and it was consecrated on 20th April, 2016. We are putting in our best efforts to complete the Utse structure by the end of March, 2018 and install the Golden pinnacle (sertog) by April next year, coinciding with the auspicious Zhabdrung Kuchoe,” said Dorji, the Project Engineer from the Division for Conservation of Heritage Sites under the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs.
Unlike the other Dzongs in the country, Wangdue Phodrang Dzong will be the first one to have a passage built underground called the service tunnel to carry utility lines such as electricity, water supply pipes, sewer lines, and telephone and internet lines. The service tunnel will also serve as an entry and exit during emergencies and the tunnel will have a width in which two people can walk at a time. “The architectural design for the service tunnel is ready and the Project Management is in the process of selecting an appropriate consultancy firm for the structural design of service tunnel as well as the structural design for the second courtyard structure which comprises of the Dukhang and Shabkhor.”
According to the records, so far 4100 individuals have volunteered and contributed about 4000 man-days of work and 129 individuals and groups have also contributed in offering food to the workers. “We usually get volunteers coming in groups during Saturdays and we even see one or two volunteers, especially the villagers during weekdays,” said the Project Engineer. He added that the Project Management is overly grateful to every individual, who has been extending their helping hands in rebuilding the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong to its former glory.
“We have spent about Nu.392.50 million as of date and we have 1000 million budget, funded by Government of India for the construction of structures only,” said Dorji. According to the management the tentative completion schedule is on December, 2021.