The Gasa dzongkhag tshogdu will propose obtaining an altitude allowance for civil servants working in Gasa.

After the two-day session, members decided to raise the issue with the home ministry yesterday.

Local leaders of all four gewogs of Gasa also supported the proposal.

As per the government rule, an altitude allowance of Nu 3,000 is given to civil servants working in places above 3,000 metres. While civil servants working in Laya and Lunana receive an altitude allowance, in Gasa, which is 2,900 metres above sea level, they do not.

Local leaders claimed that most civil servants reside at a place near Phu-Lhakhag that is almost 3,000 metres above sea level. Gasa is one of the dzongkhags that remains wet throughout the year owing to extreme weather conditions, local leaders said.

The dzongkhag’s human resource officer, Sangay Phurba, said he raised the issue considering all the difficulties civil servants serving in Gasa face. Due to the extreme weather conditions and lack of basic facilities, often civil servants are reluctant to work in Gasa. It also takes significant time in getting replacements for those who were transferred, said Sangay Phurba.

The dzongkhag has no legal officer, dzongkhag tshogdu secretary and doctor.

Local leaders said the dzongkhag does not have basic facilities such as paved roads and a town. The dzongkhag also faces frequent power blackouts and constant road blocks.

They also said that in 2012, Gasa remained totally cutoff for six months following a major roadblock.

Khatoed gewog mangmi, Sangay Tashi, said they supported the issue assuming that with additional benefits civil servants would be encouraged to serve in the dzongkhag. “Due to extreme weather conditions and frequent power blackouts, civil servants are compelled to depend on bukhari or kerosene heaters, which costs them a lot,” he said.

He added that most of the civil servants choosing to work in Gasa are new recruits and experienced ones do not opt to work in the dzongkhag.

Dawa Gyelmo