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The primary road connectivity at the Dhamdum Industrial Park
The primary road connectivity at the Dhamdum Industrial Park

A long way to go for Dhamdum industrial park

Going by the activities at the Dhamdum Indsutrial Park (DIP) in Samtse, the park could take some time before an industry comes to operate.

The 349-acre park, one of the four Special Economic Zone (SEZ) projects in the country, is yet to complete three major works—the internal road connectivity, water distribution network and street lighting after some primary site development works were completed last year.

Except for an electrical work to realign Bhutan Power Corporation’s 11kv transmission line from a different area, outside the DIP boundary wall, there was not much work happening at the park as of yesterday.

The project manager with DIP office in Thimphu, Sonam Zangmo said they would soon float tenders for the three remaining works in the electronic government procurement (EGP).

“We have completed the technical sanctions for the projects,” she said.

Sonam Zangmo said the exact amount for the three projects would be known later.

Meanwhile, Nu 536 million (M) has been approved for the DIP development in the 12th Plan. All the facilities should be completed by the end of the plan.

Project manager Sonam Zangmo also said the existing facilities at the DIP have all the basic requirements for industries to actually start. If industries are willing to come and operate, water supply and electricity would be managed.

So far, the department of industries (DoI) has received 33 applications. Of the total, seven applications have been forwarded to the National Land Commission Secretariat (NLCS) for further land approval.

“After the NLCS approval, they can start anytime,” Sonam Zangmo said.

However, from the remaining 26 applications, some have asked for time extension, while some are still processing clearances from relevant agencies.

Initially, in 2006, about 600 acres of land was identified for the DIP. However, with the Samtse municipality plans already in place, much of the land required could not be acquired. The project started in August 2016 with Nu 300M provided under Project Tied Assistance by the Government of India (GoI).

However, DoI had highlighted then that a fund of more than Nu 2 billion (B) is required. There are 92 allotable plots today, which may vary depending on the industries’ requirements for plots later.

The plots vary in size from 0.5 to 2.2 acres, which would be applicable depending on the size and type of business. Only small and medium agro, service industries, minerals-based projects, and cottage industries would be allowed in the park.

There are three pockets—A, B and C. A sawmill and a workshop has already started in pocket B. However, the site development works are only focused for pocket A at present.

Applications to set up an industry are still open.

Rajesh Rai | Samtse

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