19 August 2010

Bhutan’s Dream Town in Making

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 
As of now I can see three night clubs, two gyms, four full flat shopping malls, and an all in one medical store coming up along with the designs. Other service enterprises like beauty parlors, hotels, karaoke bars, gaming house (that’s mine), computer centers, childcare centers, etc are all waiting for the completion of the structures. I am excited about pizza restaurants, coffee houses, books restaurants and other brave new ideas people are discussing. All in all Bajo is going to be a complete package town with even people from Thimphu visiting us on weekends.

1 comment:

  1. i was thinking to bring this new town on the blog...but i could never really substantiate better, so i gave up.
    since my parents have been staying in bajothang for about last 7 years, though i dont stay more than a week or two at the most when i visit them during vacation, i saw this town growing from what u call as breathtaking paddies to this whole new town. last time i visited it was during ma last vacation, and that was in july,2010. saw few buildings fiished with final painting as also. the work was going on in full thrust.
    i am an architecture student, so the town gave me extra interest. its my perspective and i found town. may be because of the lack of planners in our country or lack of proper architects. the town needs much more than that, and when i say this, i dont mean about the scale, the town has nothing like public spaces. no proper facilities. i fear when few projects like Punatsang chu and others end, our new town is not going to sustain.

    but better still, the town would atleast make us proud. at least wangdue had a town now.


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