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Red tape delays temple rebuilding

Kenchosum Lhakhang: Work to reconstruct Kenchosum lhakhang in Bumthang is likely to be delayed, with the dzongkhag yet to sanction the timber supply order.

Kinga Jurmi, who is supervising the work, said the application for timber order was submitted five months ago to the dzongkhag, which forwarded it to the agriculture and forests ministry.  The ministry sent it back to the dzongkhag to estimate the timber required for the construction.

The order is now with the engineering section of the dzongkhag for the last one month.

With the timber order yet to  be sanctioned, the management of the lhakhang’s reconstruction has been using timber from three private constructions. They have already used around 5,000cft.  Around Nu 7M has been spent already on payment for 130 workers and hiring machinery.

The management is worried that they may not have enough time to finish work on 16 main pillars (kachens), which require carving.  Kinga Jurmi said carving work on the pillars should have begun now. “We’ll have to halt the stonework until the carvings are done,” he said.

Moreover, he said, the timber, hard wood, for pillars has to be transported from other dzongkhags.  They plan to transport hard wood from Mongar and Pemagatshel.

The single storied lhakhang appears like a two-storied structure.  Besides funding the work, Sungtrul Rinpoche is also monitoring the reconstruction, Kinga Jurmi said.  Other management officials said the government has agreed to contribute some fund, but so far it has not come through.

The reconstruction, otherwise, is going smoothly, they said.  Stones are extracted from the nearby dratsang land, which needs no machines to transport.

Until 1996, the lhakhang was taken care by the Thershong, Kharsum and Kenchogsum communities, who then offered the lhakhang to Sungtrul Rinpoche.  In 2008, a two-storied monks’ hostel was constructed, with support from the government.

After the fire in 2010, the Tamshing Lhalung dratshang, headed by Sungtruel Rinpoche, initiated the rebuilding project.  The reconstruction’s budget is estimated at Nu 12M.

By Tashi Tenzin, Bumthang

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