Requirement of timber for renovation of Lhakhangs regardless of roads reach
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.