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Gelephu Industrial Service Center operational

The newly identified Industrial Service Center (ISC) in Gelephu has started doling out services with small scale industries and a few automobile workshops having had already begun beginning this year.

Services like fabrication and others are also expected to come up soon. Gelephu Thromde, meanwhile, has also completed installing basic facilities like access roads, electricity including street lightings and water supply in the center.

Of the 102 plots that were created, the Gelephu Thromde has already awarded 50 plots to applicants after having their architectural drawings approved. The remaining plots would also be awarded soon after the drawings are approved.

After Gelephu Thromde created 102 plots for the development of ISC, it remained in stalemate for almost two years. The Thromde started developing the center since 2013, but was delayed due to conflicting land issues with the Department of Civil Aviation on Gelephu Airport and high annual lease rate.

Apart from providing services to the locals, Gelephu’s ISC is also expected to cater to other neighboring Dzongkhags of Tsirang, Dagana, Trongsa and Zhemgang. They can avail services such as automobile repairing and auto spare parts without having to travel to faraway places.

Also, the ISC is expected to have greater opportunity for prosperity as Gelephu being the entry point to central Dzongkhags and Punatsangchhu hydropower projects.

“More numbers of vehicles visit the town as the hydropower projects’ machinery and equipments are transported through Gelephu. So these people (drivers) can avail the services from here,” Gelephu Thrompon, Tika Ram Kafley said.

Initially, according to the Thrompon, people were reluctant to start business at ISC owing to the high lease rate of Nu 45 per sqft per annum. Persistent follow ups from the Thromde have succeeded in bringing down the rate to Nu 3 per sqft after approval from the National Land Commission. However, Gelephu Thromde has added Nu 1 per sqft to cover for the expenses incurred for services provided to the industries like footpaths, regular cleaning of the center and other facilities.

“It was accepted by all the applicants,” Tika Ram Kafley said, adding that the Gelephu Thromde had submitted the proposal for reduction of the tax rate in 2013.

Meanwhile, the center will house eight scrap and open stock yards, four car-washing centers, 25 automobile workshops, 13 showrooms and spare parts shops, 15 go-downs and 37 wood manufacturing and steel fabrication units.

A total of Nu 64mn has been allocated for the development of entire ISC. With the start of ISC, Gelephu Thromde expects to generate annual revenue of about Nu 10mn from more than 75 acres of land.

Krishna Ghalley from Gelephu