Ly­onch­hen vis­its gewogs in Wang­duepho­drang

Bhutan Times - - Home - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing/ Wang­due Pho­drang

Ly­onch­hen Dasho Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay en­cour­aged the peo­ple of Athang Gewog in Wang­duepho­drang to avail them­selves of the Ru­ral En­ter­prise Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Limited ( REDCL) loans.

The govern­ment has im­ple­mented REDCL at the low in­ter­est of 4 per­cent for the bor­rower to help them to start and grow a busi­ness such as dairy, pig­gery and poul­try among oth­ers. Prime Min­is­ter en­cour­aged tak­ing up farm­ing dur­ing his gewogs visit.

How­ever, Athang Gewog has not availed of the loans from the REDCL so far and there are no di­ary, poul­try and pig­gery farms. The REDCL loans have a min­i­mal in­ter­est to ini­ti­ate de­vel­op­men­tal ac­tiv­i­ties in the ru­ral gewogs.

Ly­onch­hen also talked on the wildlife con­flict in the vil­lages of re­mote Athang. De­spites, farm­ers work­ing long hours un­der un­pre­dictable weather con­di­tions, their crops were dam­aged by live­stock and wild preda­tors. To pro­tect and im­prove agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tiv­ity and prof­itabil­ity of farm­ing, about 28.5- kms of elec­tric fenc­ing was in­stalled in Athang gewog.

Elec­tric fenc­ing has turned out to be ef­fec­tive in pro­tect­ing crops. How­ever, Ly­onch­hen told the peo­ple that Athang fac­ing wildlife con­flict de­spite hav­ing elec­tric fenc­ing might be be­cause of man­age­ment of the fences.

Ly­onch­hen said that the peo­ple should take full own­er­ship of the fa­cil­i­ties pro­vided to them and to en­sure proper main­te­nance of them.

Be­sides, ac­cess to bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties and bet­ter telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work was an­other prob­lem vil­lagers faces. Ly­onch­hen told the gath­er­ing that the mo­bile con­nec­tiv­ity is­sues will be for­warded to the Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

The farm­ers are happy about the ar­rival of road but wor­ried about how it might ben­e­fit the farm­ers be­cause the road gets blocked in times of heavy rains. Vil­lager thinks that the road will ben­e­fit the farm­ers if the govern­ment helps main­tain it.

On farm roads main­te­nance, Ly­onch­hen said that peo­ple must equally work hard to look af­ter the roads. Ly­onch­hen said that the Gewog Devel­op­ment Grant, Dzongkhag Devel­op­ment Grant and Dzongkhag ma­chine rides would be of great help in main­tain­ing the roads.

Ly­onch­hen also in­formed the gath­er­ing that the bridge to Athang vil­lage con­structed by Jaypee will re­main af­ter the com­ple­tion of their project. Ini­tially, there was a plan to dis­man­tle the bridge af­ter the com­ple- tion of the project. Ly­onch­hen said that the com­pany agreed to keep the bridge to ben­e­fit the lo­cals.

Meet­ing the peo­ple through­out the gewogs, he re­minded that the peo­ple are blessed with His Majesty trav­el­ling all around the coun­try and that him­self draws in­spi­ra­tion for all his vis­its from His Majesty. Ly­onch­hen said the peo­ple that the govern­ment and the peo­ple must work to­gether to serve His Majesty the King and to strengthen our coun­try.

Ly­onch­hen said that the im­posed democ­racy Bhutan re­ceived from Their Majesties and peo­ple’s ac­cep­tance to it by par­tic­i­pat­ing in the demo­cratic process is an­other rea­son for meet­ing the peo­ple in their gewogs. Ly­onch­hen said, “Our fo­cus is on de­cen­tral­iza­tion and in strength­en­ing the Lo­cal Govern­ment.”

Athang is one of the most re­mote and least ac­ces­si­ble gewog in Wang­duepho­drang Dzongkhag with poor com­mu­ni­ca­tion net­work. The set­tle­ments are widely scat­tered which com­prises four chi­wogs, Lophokhaphak­takha, Lomt­shokha, Rukha and Lawa Lamga.

Of­fi­cially, both the places are two days’ walk from Kamichhu. The chi­wogs of Athang in­cludes the vil­lage of Lophokha, Phak­takha, Kago and Lomt­shokha.

Athang Gewog con­sists of 167 house­holds with the pop­u­la­tion of 1,980 as per the cen­sus record of 2012 sparsely set­tled on an es­ti­mated area of 746- km square.

Mean­while, Ly­onch­hen also vis­ited Daga Gewog in Wang­duepho­drang Dzongkhag. Ly­onch­hen has so far vis­ited 173 gewogs out of 205 gewogs. Ly­onchen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay was ac­com­pa­nied by Health Min­is­ter Tandin Wangchuk.

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