The monsoon, harsh weather condition and limited choice of bidders delay the construction of the farm road from Gasa to Laya every summer. 

The first cutting for the 45 kilometres long farm road has been completed for about 25 kilometers. The progress of 55 percent has been made since the construction began in 2014.

Since 2014, Gasa dzongkhag administration has spent about Nu 3 million to date. Clearing of blocks created by flash floods and landslide cost the dzongkhag a minimum of Nu 500,000 every monsoon. The dzongkhag plans to complete the road construction this fiscal year.

Completing the road construction is also on the agenda of all four party candidates. Upgradation of Laya school and health facilities in the constituency is also a common promise among the four. 

Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party candidate Damcho Zangmo said it was important to make the pledges, which can be achieved to win the trust of the people and were important to them.  

The candidate has pledged to improve the infrastructure of Laya Central School and provide sports facilities, ICT facilities to address school dropouts in the community. 

The party has pledged to improve sanitation and health services by making ultrasound, and X-ray facilities available in Laya BHU. Improvement of tourism, better business opportunities, employment creation, and promotion of culture among others are BKP’s pledges to the gewog.

Damcho Zangmo said it was better to listen to the people’s ideas to progress. “A vibrant democracy is not only about pledges, it’s about people’s concern and ideas through which we understand the need and changes the community wanted,” she said.

Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) candidate Changa Dawa said it was important to explain to the people about the development the party would bring to the constituency if elected. “Our main focus for the dzongkhag is to construct the road to Laya. This has become most important to the people.”

Despite connecting Laya with electricity two years ago, power breakdown is common in the community. DPT aims to supply reliable power supply to Laya and improve existing health facilities and services in the dzongkhag. 

To provide the out of school youth with employment opportunities, the candidate has pledged to expand tourism and enhance natural resources produces. 

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa candidate Tenzin said the constituency could not have a gewog centre road while the gewog centre roads in other parts of the country were blacktopped. “We have to walk from Gasa town even after the construction of the 25km road is completed. The dzongkhag road has not been blacktopped properly in the last 10 years of democracy,” he said. 

Tenzin also pledged to construct the road to Dodophu on the way to Lunana. He said the party would support the dzongkhag in the development of new town planning and open new trekking route to Lingzhi to enhance the marketing of the town. 

He said the district hospital in Gasa provided health service at the level of BHU and the party would like to equip the hospital with better equipment and specialists to provide quality health service.  

Relocation and upgradation of Laya central school, a mini BHU in Lungoo Chiwog, Laya and development of comprehensive plans for the livelihood of nomads are DNT’s promises to the constituency.  

Expansion and blacktopping of dzongkhag road within two years, distributing dzongkhag excavator to gewog for the maintenance of GC roads and legalisation of herbal plants grown in Khatoed gewog are in pledge among others. 

People’s Democratic Party also pledged to continue the construction of Gasa to Laya farm road, upgradation of Laya Central School and establishment of a new Basic Health Unit.

Damcho Dorji said the construction of farm road to Laya was also pledged before. “Every year the contractor could not complete even 10 kilometres as the road passed through rocky terrains. We have completed about 27 kilometres and spent about Nu 70 million,” he said. 

He said the party has pledges at various levels of the government and covers every aspect of socio economic development of the country. 

Some flagship programmes related to highland and rural community includes national highland development program, One-Gewog-One-Product program, start up Bhutan, tourism, organic Bhutan, and Rural Enterprise program among others. 

Nima | Gasa