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Construction of GNH centre delayed

Oct 9 2012

The construction of Gross National Happiness (GNH) centre in Chhoekhor gewog under Bumthang Dzongkhag was to begin some six months ago. But it has been delayed due to change in the master plan of the centre and fund mobilisation.

The construction will begin only in March next year.

The Director of GNH centre, Dr. Samdrup, says they have been able to complete the master plan of the centre. Forestry clearance and environmental clearance certificates have been obtained.

The architectural drawings of the centre will be ready by January next year. A Japanese architecture firm will design the center. The architects will be arriving in the country by October 17.

“We have prioritised the centre development in different phases. The first phase is the construction of a bridge connecting Wangchuck Centennial Park and GNH centre,” said Dr.Samdrup.

The GNH centre will be built at a place called Dingdingma under Chhoekhor gewog. The centre will be a home for promotion and practice of happiness for people from all walks of life.

In May 2010, Lyonchhoen and technical experts visited the site to see if it is ideal to build the centre. Since Lyonchhoen’s parental home is in the same locality, he was criticised for doing this for his personal gains. But Dr Samdrup says the criticism does not hold water.

“It is nowhere near that place and I would like to tell people who have this kind of thinking that this land was found by the Agriculture ministry. Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho had reported to the Prime Minister that he has found a land in Bumthang.” He said a team consisting members from cabinet secretariat, different directors including the whole dzongkhag studied the land and found it to be suitable.

The Government will not spend money for the construction of the centre. Funds are being raised from foreigners who wish to contribute.

The centre will be registered as a Civil Society Organisation next month.

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