Taksha primary school is affected the most when the farm road gets blocked

DAGA: The 21.7km Takshasilli farm road that connects Taksha primary school to the village in Daga gewog and the rest of Wangdue has now been cleared after it remained blocked for more than three weeks.

Constructed in 2010 with Nu 25M KRII grant from Japan, the road is one of the longest farm roads in Wangdue.

Daga gewog’s administration officer, Desang said every monsoon landslides frequently block the road. This time, slides had blocked the farm road at 25 locations.

He said the gewog administration had proposed Nu 100,000 from the gewog development grant to pay the workers for clearing the block and also to clear future blocks since the administration does not have fund for farm road maintenance.

In 2013, the gewog cleared a block with funds from Punatsangchu hydropower project authority.  Later its Nu 200,000 from the constituency development grant was used to maintain the road, when a flashflood caused significant damage to the road.

“Following the current road block, we wrote to the dzongkhag disaster committee,” he said. The committee members visited the site and verified the damage.

Gewog officials said the main challenge with Taksha silli farm road is its long distance. The road is also prone to landslides since most parts of the road are filled with soil. The road is motorable only during dry season.

He said the 11 km Pinsa – Gabbakha farm road was also blocked and the gewog office provided people with fuel charges. “We were told that they have hired a machine and started clearing the blocks,” he said.

However, it is Taksha primary school that is affected the most when the farm road gets blocked. The primary school has 136 students, of which 75 are boarding students. The rest were provided breakfast and lunch from school because day scholars come from far-flung villages, school principal Leki Wangdi said.

When the farm road remains blocked for more than two weeks, the school and teachers run short of ration. “Sometimes even teachers have to voluntarily clear the farm road after school hours, as we run short of rations,” he said.

There have been times, when the school had to borrow rations from nearby villages. “Currently the ration problem is resolved but we are not sure how long the farm road would remain cleared,” the principal said. “Last year we were cut off for three months.” There are 52 households in Taksha silli village.

Meanwhile, the villagers said that the landslides are occurring due to relentless quarrying on either sides of the farm road. There are four stone quarries in Takshachu and Gabbachu, which are fully operational.

Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue