The people of about 25 households of Brongshung village in Gomdar, Samdrupjongkhar, have to walk more than an hour every day to transport milk to the gewog centre (GC) road point.

The village does not have a farm road but supplies about 100 litres of milk every day to the Gomdar milk-marketing group.

A villager, Borangki, 70, said she takes about two hours to reach the road point from her village. “It would help if the village gets connected with a farm road.”

She said she sells about three to four litres of milk a day and earns about Nu 2,000 to 3,000 a month, which helps to buy fodder for the cattle. “But it’s risky to cross the stream which swells in summer.”

Another villager, Tshewang Gyeltshen, 45, said 18 households in the village started the Gomdar milk-marketing group, as the village has good milk production. “The group has also constructed four single-storey houses at Tshangchilo.”

He said that milk is the main source of income for the people.

Tshewang Gyeltshen said some members left the group after they faced challenges in transporting milk because the village is not connected with a farm road. “We then handed over the group to the gewog.”

Tenzin, 63, said the 18 households started constructing a farm road but could not continue after constructing about a kilometre because of limited budget.

“Every candidate pledges to construct a farm road but no one constructed so far. We now realise it was just for the votes,” he said.

He said he sells milk at Nu 30 a litre and earns Nu 3,000 to 5,000 a month but some villagers earn about Nu 10,000 a month, adding that they take turns to transport milk.

He said villagers also produce fresh vegetables but they could not earn an income, as they face difficulty with transportation. “We face difficulties in taking patients to the hospital during emergencies and it’s also risky to cross a stream which swells in summer, as the cantilever bridge has been washed away.”

Tenzin said the villagers requested the gewog office and they hope it gets connected with a farm road soon.

Gomdar gewog gup, Sonam Tshewang, said the gewog has given the budget to the people from the gewog development grant (GDG) to continue the farm road construction but people returned it, as it was not enough for the construction.

He said that a farm road would not only help the villagers transport milk but will also encourage people to take up other agriculture farming. “We are going to construct the Brongshung farm road in the first year of the 12th Plan and the gewog has also allocated about Nu 4 million for the construction.”

Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar