P/ling vot­ers ex­pect farm roads, agro re­vival and de­vel­op­ment of ex­tended Thromdes

Business Bhutan - - Nation - Kr­ishna Ghal­ley

For the vot­ers of one of the big­gest con­stituen­cies, Phuentshol­ing, re­cent de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties have left them dis­sat­is­fied.

Phuentshol­ing con­stituency, which is com­prised of a Thromde and six gewogs, has 10,737 regis­tered vot­ers. Main­te­nance and upgra­da­tion of farm roads and hos­pi­tals, ir­ri­ga­tion chan­nels and re­vival of agri­cul­ture in the con­stituency are top ex­pec­ta­tions of the vot­ers in the ru­ral ar­eas. Since most of the vot­ers are ru­ral based, the vot­ers prom­ise to elect the can­di­dates, who as­sure to meet th­ese ex­pec­ta­tions.

While most of the vil­lages now have much needed ba­sic fa­cil­i­ties, still more fo­cus on roads are deemed nec­es­sary as th­ese vil­lagers suf­fer dur­ing mon­soon when farm roads re­main blocked en­tirely due to land­slides. They say that black­top­ping and main­tain­ing proper drainages are nec­es­sary to keep them open through­out the year. “We can­not de­mand much but th­ese are our gen­uine ex­pec­ta­tions from the next gov­ern­ment,” said Bur Dhoj Rai from Si­rina.

Si­rina, which is more than four hours’ drive from Phuentshol­ing needs a Ba­sic Health Unit with a doc­tor and am­bu­lance. To­day, the vil­lages avail med­i­cal ser­vices from an Out Reach Clinic. Hav­ing a BHU will save time to travel to Phuentshol­ing Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal dur­ing sum­mer when mul­ti­ple road­blocks hin­der travel. Like­wise, vot­ers from other parts of Phuentshol­ing con­stituency also feel that a BHU is nec­es­sary in each ge­wog.

Pro­vi­sion of enough drink­ing and ir­ri­ga­tion wa­ter is also an­other ex­pec­ta­tion of al­most all the vil­lages of Phuentshol­ing con­stituency. Al­though the vot­ers agree that wa­ter sup­ply has been pro­vided by the ear­lier gov­ern­ments, most of them are ei­ther dam­aged or the sources, dry. Still, the short­age of drink­ing wa­ter fa­cil­i­ties per­sists there. Logchina is one of the vil­lages where drink­ing wa­ter short­age is se­vere. “The new gov­ern­ment needs to look for a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion to all th­ese prob­lems since it is a ba­sic ne­ces­sity for the peo­ple,” said Harka Bdr. Mon­gar from Logchina. He said that two can­di­dates have promised to tackle the is­sues if they are elected. “Let’s see what hap­pens,” he said.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the vil­lagers who mostly de­pend on agri­cul­ture ex­pects the new gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment mea­sures to re­vive dy­ing agri­cul­ture prac­tices in the con­stituency. Car­damom, gin­ger and man­darin are top cash crops in the con­stituency. But now, man­darin has died leav­ing farm­ers in a crit­i­cal eco­nomic state. It is more than a decade since the cash crop which sup­ported the farm­ers have van­ished. “We ex­pect our new gov­ern­ment to come with ef­fec­tive meth­ods to re­vive our agri­cul­ture which is the back­bone of the na­tion,” said Bur Dhoj Rai. Car­damom has so far lifted the farm­ers eco­nom­i­cally but that also has started de­creas­ing in yield and prices.

Peo­ple are also ex­pect­ing one Early Child Care and De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter in each vil­lage. Since most of the vil­lagers will be en­gaged in daily farm works, pro­vid­ing ECCDs to each vil­lage would also help the farm­ers to keep their chil­dren mean­ing­fully en­gaged, said Dik Bdr. Ghal­ley from Burkey.

Mean­while, the vil­lagers nearby Pasakha In­dus­trial Park hopes the gov­ern­ment will come up with pol­lu­tion con­trol mea­sures to safe­guard the vil­lages and its farms. Th­ese vil­lages have been a vic­tim of in­dus­trial pol­lu­tion from Pasakha IP with­out much ben­e­fit. “We want the new gov­ern­ment to frame reg­u­la­tions ben­e­fit­ing the vil­lagers and our farm prod­ucts,” said Nanda Ku­mar Ch­hetri from Kothiline in Sam­phelling ge­wog.

De­vel­op­ment of ex­tended Phuentshol­ing Thromde in Pekarsh­ing, 10 kilo­me­ters from Phuentshol­ing been stalled with­out any de­vel­op­ment works, ac­cord­ing to the res­i­dents. Also the area misses many fa­cil­i­ties el­i­gi­ble for thromdes. The area still lacks street light fa­cil­i­ties and proper road and wa­ter sup­ply con­nec­tions. The res­i­dents ex­pect the next gov­ern­ment to ac­cel­er­ate ap­proval pro­cesses for con­struc­tion once the Lo­cal Area Plan is com­plete along with easy loan pro­ce­dures.

“If such fa­cil­i­ties are in place, there will be rapid de­vel­op­ment tak­ing place,” said Bi­mal Ku­mar from Pekarzhing.

Among oth­ers, cre­at­ing bet­ter mar­ket for farm­ers’ farm prod­ucts, crop in­sur­ance schemes and sub­si­dies to en­cour­age farm­ers in tak­ing up farm­ing as sus­tain­able job are also some of the ex­pec­ta­tions of the peo­ple of Phuentshol­ing con­stituency.

The vot­ers along Phuentshol­ing-Kothiline, Sam­phelling ex­pect bet­ter boundary walls with po­lice out­post along the bor­der. “It helps in main­tain­ing proper se­cu­rity for the peo­ple and the coun­try,” a voter said.

Tashi from Druk Phuen­sum Tshogpa and Jai Bir Rai from Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa are con­test­ing from Phuentshol­ing con­stituency this elec­tion.

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