Gola Bazaar in Tashichholing gewog in Samtse, one of the oldest towns in the district, is literally an urban town in the making today.
The town that comprised mostly temporary sheds and wooden structures earlier is being replaced with new concrete structures. Already, three buildings have been completed and another four new buildings are under construction. Further, around five new buildings will be constructed soon. About 52 plots in the town were awarded to land owners to complete construction within 2020.
The Gola Throm Tshogpa, Namgay said some land owners have already started construction and the rest will start soon. The two storied structures will occupy the old town where temporary sheds and wooden structures mostly existed. Now, each plot owner is awarded 2,400 sqft of land for the development of the town.
Meanwhile, business has already begun on the completed structures with the opening of new hotels, restaurants and general stores.
The town located at the center of more than three gewogs in Samtse has the potential to become a major center for the villagers, according to Namgay. People of Tashichholing, Pemaling, Tendu and Bara still visit the market for shopping.
“Once complete, the town will serve the people with new and well facilitated structures,” he said, adding that people don’t have to travel till Samtse or Indian borders for shopping. The population of the nearby villages also favors the establishment of the town, according to the Tshogpa. Almost 300 people reside within the town including house owners.
Meanwhile, Bhutan Development Bank Limited has also established its branch office in the town. The new town is also expected to resolve the housing crunch with its two storied structures.
Namgay said people still come searching for rental apartments. But without proper housing structures, not many people get empty flats for rent. “Now such problems will be resolved gradually,” he added.
The town will also get a ring road and a recreational park. These facilities will be put in place after all the structures in the 52 plots are complete.
However, unavailability of drinking water has been a major hurdle for the development of the town. People still drink water from the old source which needs maintenance. Also, there is no plumber to look after its maintenance. The residents take turns to work on the maintenance of the existing water supply.
The absence of public toilet is another problem.
Throm Tshogpa said people are compelled to defecate in open areas. “The house owners lock their toilets and without public toilets, they land defecating in the open areas which is unacceptable,” he said. He, however, said that toilets will be constructed in the 12th Plan.
Tashichholing Gup Sameer Giri said the new town has a huge potential for development.
“People still flock here considering it as one of the oldest towns,” he said. He also said that water shortage issue will be resolved soon and other infrastructures will be developed simultaneously.
Krishna Ghalley from Samtse