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Education City: indecision is both ridiculous and expensive

The idea of Education City at Wang Sisina died mysteriously. It was a good dream; only it did not see the light of day. But we have made some heavy investment there. The fact that even four years after it was shut down, nothing has been decided on what it now should be is baffling.

The project office at Motithang and infrastructure like bridge, a power substation, boreholes, and a 2.4km road were handed over to the department of roads in 2015.

Royal Audit Authority has now issued three audit memos concerning the project. The facilities like the bridge, road, and substation are not put to use. 

If the project was killed, why did the project office at Mothithang in Thimphu continue to exist? There is a cost factor there, as if huge investment in the project itself was not enough.

There is a serious lapse of responsibility in handling this dead project. Accountability must be fixed.

We are told that the government is exploring options to put the land to good use. Four years is a long time. If a tertiary hospital must come there, let it be. Either we do not know how to use this campus, or we have no clear plan and picture for the future.

Some conveniently want to put the matter to close by saying that the project is dead.  This is not fair. The Education City Act 2012 is very much alive. 

If this campus cannot be an education city as it was designed to be, it sure can be used for some other purposes for the good of the nation and the people. The point is that we must repeal the Act if we are to do anything with it. There is also an argument that the Act is redundant since the Education City project stands cancelled.

The matter is clear. 

As the Parliament prepares to convene, our MPs must table the Act for repeal. Or, let us come to consensus that the Act is redundant and dead so that we may be able to decide how best to use the campus.

Indecision is both ridiculous and expensive.  Our law-makers are not doing what they should as the representatives of the people. Give this enterprise a new lease of life for heaven’s sake.

Better still, tell us know who failed us, because every  ngultrum counts when we plan and talk about development. This voice has been missing in the narrative.

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