It has been almost a year since Barshong gewog has been functioning without a gewog administrative officer (GAO). The agriculture extension officer has been officiating so far.

The post of GAO has remained vacant since the previous gewog administrative officer was transferred to Sarpang in January this year.

Barshong gup Santa Lal Powdel said that without a GAO, it is difficult for the gewog to function. Although the agriculture extension officer is officiating, the job responsibilities of the GAO are substantial and often carried out by the gup himself.

He said the gewog has been corresponding with the Department of Local Governance but has not received a response yet. “Gewog development works and executing other planned activities are impacted in the absence of a GAO,” he said.

Gup Santa Lal Powdel said that the Gross National Happiness Commission has been sending the 12th five-year Plan activities for review and editing but the gewog has not been able to work accordingly. For the last few months, the GAO of neighboring Patshaling gewog has been helping Barshong. “Yet it is difficult to function smoothly,” he said.

The administration fears a major impact on the execution of 12th Plan activities if the gewog continues to remains without a GAO.  Executing and carrying out job responsibilities of the GAO by other gewog officials, the gup said hinders quality. “No other gewog officials are trained to carry out the responsibilities of a GAO,” he said.

The issue was also raised in last two Dzongkhag Tshogdus (DT). It was raised at the recent DT as well. The recent DT endorsed that the issue will be forwarded with a resolution to the department of local governance. “We’ll notify the concerned Member of Parliament and hope for deployment of GAO at the earliest,” DT chairman Shiva Lal Karariya said.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang