Wangduephodrang survives on one of Bhutan’s most rustic towns built clumsily on a hill along the eastern highway. It was temporary town though but lasted for generations without development. Today it faces all problems on earth; litter, toilets, parking space, housing, water supply, traffic congestion,… which bring about social disharmony among the dwellers.
It is only good for tourists who love looking at strange places; one could easily misunderstand it for a village badly stricken with poverty. But in those shaky huts, among the dusty dwellers live people with big dreams and big money, all they ever needed was a space.
Plan for the new town was laid seven years ago in the breathtaking paddies of Bajo valley. But land allotment dispute froze the plan for over six years. The place was called townplan, it had road, electrification, drainage and parking in place except buildings. It was often referred to as invisible town.
|Wangdue Landscape 2002- Google Earth|
All disputes apparently came to an end last year and government gave green signal to constructions. The race began and in less than a year we can see magnificent structures standing. From some verandas we can already see clothes hanging. The deadline for completion of construction is by the end of December 2010, which seems like a lot of time. By then the town is going to come alive with people and shops.
From a distance Bajo town looks like a huge palace unlike other new towns elsewhere. Our neighboring town of Kuruthang looks like a town wrecked apart by a bomb. But Bajo is going to be different; it is a well planned and executed. Building owners sat with their clients on the drawing board over interior and exterior designs to transform the whole look and feel of the structures.
|Bajo Town nearing Completion|