Re­quire­ment of tim­ber for ren­o­va­tion of Lhakhangs re­gard­less of roads reach

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Sonam Pen­jor

As pe­ti­tioned by the Trongsa Dzongkhag, the Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment from Nubi-Tangsi­bji con­stituency Nidup Zangpo sub­mit­ted dur­ing the 5th ses­sion of 2nd Par­lia­ment the need to is­sue tim­ber for the ren­o­va­tion of Lhakhangs in the vil­lages re­gard­less of the pres­ence of roads. It was also sub­mit­ted that if a bet­ter sys­tem could be in­sti­tuted to ob­tain good qual­ity tim­ber from the Nat­u­ral Re­sources Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Limited (NRDCL).

He also sub­mit­ted that about the present sys­tem of ac­quir­ing the tim­ber for the ren­o­va­tion of the Lhakhangs and the peo­ple get li­cense for the tim­ber eas­ily where there the places are not ac­ces­si­ble by roads. How­ever peo­ple don’t get li­cense for tim­ber where the places are ac­ces­si­ble by roads, there­fore the prob­lem ex­ists for the peo­ple, which ham­per the work to be com­pleted on time.

In re­sponse to the pe­ti­tion, the min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture and Forests, Ly­onpo Yeshey Dorji said that the prob­lem was not the scarcity of tim­bers but want­ing it in a sub­si­dized rate. He in­formed that the tim­bers were pro­vided as per the For­est Act of 2006. He said that wher­ever there are no NRDCL of­fices, tim­bers could be ex­tracted from the com­mu­nity forests for con­struc­tion of Lhakhangs in con­sul­ta­tion with the depart­ment of for­est. It was also in­formed that 295 acres of land has been iden­ti­fied in the 20 Dzongkhags for plan­ta­tion of trees to ad­dress tim­ber is­sues in fu­ture. And it was re­ported that four Dzongkhags has al­ready done with plan­ta­tion of trees.

Sim­i­larly, on be­half of the peo­ple of Wang­due Pho­drang Dzongkhag, the Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment from Ny­isho-Se­phu con­stituency rep­re­senta-

tive Kuenga sub­mit­ted that build­ing of two houses; one for win­ter and one for sum­mer has been the tra­di­tion for the peo­ple in the Dzongkkag. How­ever, as per ru­ral house con­struc­tion rules, en­ti­tle­ment of tim­ber was only for con­struct­ing one house. There­fore, it was sub­mit­ted to look into the mat­ter.

While the House ac­knowl­edged the im­por­tance of pro­vid­ing tim­ber for con­struc­tion of two houses as per the tra­di­tion, sub­mis­sions were made that other peo­ple may also make sim­i­lar re­quests which can­not be de­nied if such sys­tem is put in place. The Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Forests was di­rected to dis­sem­i­nate in­for­ma­tion on the pro­vi­sions of the For­est Act and re­lated laws for bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the peo­ple and to ini­ti­ate as­sess­ment of the above two is­sues.

Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment from Dramedtse-Ngat­shang con­stituency Ugyen Wangdi sup­ported the pe­ti­tion sub­mit­ted by the peo­ple of Trongsa Dzongkhag and said that as per the Ar­ti­cle 5 of con­sti­tu­tion of King­dom of Bhutan, we have to main­tain 60 per­cent our coun­try un­der for­est cover but as per the ar­ti­cle 4 of the con­sti­tu­tion of King­dom of Bhutan we have to pre­serve our cul­ture and tra­di­tion.

He added that both are equally im­por­tant to pre­serve and if we ne­glect to ren­o­vate be­cause it de­stroy our en­vi­ron­ment so we will not be able to pre­serve our cul­ture and tra­di­tion. He fur­ther sub­mit­ted that we have to look into other pos­si­bil­ity to get li­cense for tim­ber eas­ily. Be­cause we have op­por­tu­ni­ties that trees can be re­planted but if Lhakhangs gets ru­ined then we will not be able to re­gain again.

Since there is no prob­lems with the li­cense for the tim­ber for public tem­ple, Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment from Pan­bang con­stituency Dorji Wangdi said that for the main­te­nance of the public tem­ple, it is not much prob­lem with get­ting of li­cense for tim­ber but ren­o­va­tion of Lhakhangs which be­longs to pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als and that of the com­mu­nity the prob­lems ex­ist for the tim­ber li­cense. He added that the ex­pen­di­ture for the main­te­nance is much higher than the con­struct­ing of new Lhakhangs. So he said that as of now we don’t have any proper guide­line and a proper guide­line for all the Lhakhangs is re­quired.

Mean­while, Deputy Speaker Chimi Dorji rec­om­mended to Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Forests to look into the proper guide­lines about the above is­sues.

21st May 2015: The Lu­drong Me­mo­rial Gar­den, a gift from Her Majesty the Royal Grand­mother to the peo­ple, was in­au­gu­rated by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, on the oc­ca­sion of Her Majesty’s 85th Birth An­niver­sary. His Majesty The King and Mem­bers of the Royal Fam­ily graced the event.

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