Lhakpa Quendren | Tsirang

The recently blacktopped 8-kilometre farm road of Darchagang to Kutidara in Tsholingkhar Gewog, Tsirang has given farmers a glimmer of hope.

The improved farm road would benefit about 350 households in upper and lower parts of Tsholingkhar, including Nimazor and Sunkosh chiwogs in Rangthangling Gewog.

Tsholingkhar Gup Passang Tamang said that the farm road would benefit the farmers as they will be able to take their agriculture and livestock products to the market.

“The accessibility for market and social services are now more realistic for the farmers,” he said. “The travel time has been reduced for farmers wanting to take their produce to Gelephu market and that can make a huge difference.”

Passang Tamang said that the road also benefits the Tsholingkhar Primary School and a monastery in the gewog. “It would also benefit the Tsirang dratshang’s tshamkhang in upper Tsholingkhar.”

“Considering all these benefits, we initiated the plan to blacktop the farm roads three years ago,” he said, adding the work was prioritised following the dzongkhag tshogdu approval.

Chandra Bdr Tamang, 70, from Tsholingkhar Toed said that it brings prospects for better socio-economic development in their villages. “It would definitely improve the rural living standards in our gewog and progress to agricultural farming and livestock business.”

“In the past, the poor condition of the road during monsoon made it difficult to take our products to the market and the transportation cost was high,” he said.

Bal Bdr Tamang, 53, said that the challenges will remain if the government doesn’t help maintain the road after the blacktop. “Without timely maintenance, the villagers will be forever bogged down with the problems.”

“We have been cleaning and repairing the drainage system and road twice annually,” he said.

The blacktopping work, which began in November 2022, was completed about three months ahead of time at a cost of Nu 25.5 million.

Of the total budget, the gewog administration financed Nu 7.3 million while the Tsirang Dzongkhag Administration identified Nu 18.2 million from the common minimum infrastructure.