The number of days urban Trongsaps will have to contribute though, is yet to be decided

Labour: People in Trongsa thromde will have to contribute labour or woola for the ongoing dzong reconstruction. This was decided during the Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT) on April 21.

DT Chairperson, Nubi Gup Tashi Penden said the number of days required for woola to be imposed on residents of the thromde would be decided at a later date after consulting the thromde thuemi. However, he said the number of days required from thromde residents would be fewer than those living in the villages.

But Korphu Gup Tsheltrim Dorji said thromde residents should contribute an equal number of days of woola for the dzong reconstruction. He said this would reduce the burden on villagers and ensure equality among the Trongsaps.

Tangsibi Gup Jigme Namgyal supported Gup Tsheltrim Dorji saying that thromde residents should also provide equal woola as the dzong belonged to them as well.

He pointed out that there is also no rule that says rural people must provide more woola than urbanites. He added that the national daily wage was not enough to hire labourers.

Dzongkhag Engineer Passang Dorji said thromde residents should not be required to provide an equal number of days of woola as villagers since there are justifiable differences. “People in the thromde pay higher land taxes, electricity and water bills .They may not welcome the decision,” Passang Dorji said.

People in the rural areas also enjoy royalty free timber and electricity which thromde residents do not.

As some DT members justified, Drakteng Gup Gayley Chophel said  the thromde residents would have to provide fewer days of woola than the villagers. “If villagers contribute labour for 15 days, thromde residents could be asked to contribute only `seven days,” Drakteng gup said.

Some members said the thromde should also be contributing woola since they are directly or indirectly benefitted by the dzong. The thromde enjoys business opportunities from both locals and tourists because of the dzong.

“It is not necessary that they should come to the work site and help carry stones and timber but they can make contributions in different ways,” Gayley Chophel said. The members suggested exploring substitute labour as one of the alternative ways.

The chairperson said everyone with their census and gung in Trongsa will have to contribute woola except for those who are there only for business. Members also increased the existing number of days of woola for rural residents from seven to 15 days. Local leaders said seven days of woola was insufficient to complete the renovation work.

Implementation of increased number of days of woola will start with Korphu gewog which will be at the work site today.

The people of Nubi, Tangsibji, Langthel and Drakteng completed their seven days of woola yesterday.

People contributing woola are paid a minimum daily wage, lodging and pick and drop off services to the villages.

Nima Wangdi | Trongsa