Planks inside Phajoding’s Khangzang Lhakhang rot after just a year

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The Nu. 200 million Phajoding Monastery Conservation Project, which began in 2017 with support from the government of India (GoI) was supposed to be completed in the 11th Five Year Plan period itself. However, several factors including location of the site, difficulties to reach materials prolonged and the project was completed about a year back. However, before the consecration of the new structures built and improvised, several flanks of one of the three lhakhangs, Khangzang lhakhang, has deteriorated immensely. Though the then Project Manager of the project, Dechen Dorji says restorations of the flanks will begin right after, Zhabdrung Kuchoe, (May 11), observers and those associated with the monastery say this would never have happened if works were done prudently and scientifically and that the restoration will entail loss of additional budget and most importantly time. 
Project manager Dechen said it is true that the flanks have deteriorated. He added the project team has been conducting studies on factors leading to the deterioration of the planks for quiet some time. “Moreover it is mainly got to do with the climatic conditions at Phajoding. Even if it does not rain, the weather is cloudy and misty with water droplets always falling which has led to it,” he said. Additionally, to ensure that it does not happen again, the studies conducted involved high altitude experts. The planks that are damaged have been removed and new ones will be laid. 
When questioned if it has anything to do with timber used being not “seasoned,” the project manager said that as a very important project and a core component of Bhutan’s culture, work at Phajoding was done very meticulously. “We left nothing to chance,” he said adding that users are also responsible as water was being split on the planks.
On the other hand, a source who did not want to be named said “if things like this can happen at projects taken up by government agencies and for important ones like Phajoding, we do not need to even think why quality is bad in other projects.” “Everyone knows that a project management team was there, with experts in different fields. All of them knows that Phajoding is a cold place. So these experts should have done the studies that they say they have conducted now before even implementing the project and then come up with measures to ensure that everything goes correctly,” he said.
“It is very easy for them to say that the planks will be restored, but they have to think about the additional environmental and economic costs, that the government will need to bear,” he added. 
While The Journalist could not confirm what kind of studies were conducted, the findings and the new ways through which the flooring could be done, experts say the best flooring material is seasoned hardwood. 
The Phajoding Monastery Conservation project began in was funded by the Government of India (GoI) with a fund of Nu 200 million, in the 11th Five-year Plan. The executing agency of the Project was the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs. Under the chairmanship of the Secretary of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, the Phajoding Monastery Conservation Project Steering Committee was responsible for discharging administrative, technical, financial and organizational duties of the project. Division for Conservation of Heritage Sites under the Department of Culture, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs was the main agency responsible for the implementation of the project. The project comprised renovations of three lhakhangs; Wogmin Lhakhang, Khangzang Lhakhang and Jampa Lhakhang.