Allowance: Civil servants in Panbang in Zhemgang are not happy with the government for withdrawing their difficulty allowance since March this year.

Difficulty allowance was withdrawn saying that Gomphu-Panbang and Panbang-Nganglam highways already connect Panbang now.

Civil servants, however, said that these roads remain functional only during the winter months. “Government assumes that we are connected by these road facilities, but we still live in difficulty,” one of the civil servants said.

He said that there comes a time when all the people in Panbang run out of even vegetables as roads get blocked. People have to only eat potatoes.

Another civil servants, who did not wish to be named, said that people are left with only one option to import food items from border town of Barpeta. But then, even this road remains closed frequently with strikes.

A woman said that it is difficult for the people to return to Panbang after they go to other places in summer. “We have to try other routes like Gelephu, Phuntsholing and Nganglam,” she said.

Civil servants in Panbang used to get difficulty allowance of Nu 2,000 a month otherwise.

Civil servants said that there is no fuel station in Panbang and they have to travel to Nganglam or Gelephu to fuel their cars.

Electricity supply is erratic and people are left without light for weeks in some cases. “Every time there is a thunder, electricity supply is interrupted,” said a civil servant. He said banks remain closed when there was no electricity and people have to buy things on credit.

Panbang does not have an ATM at the moment. “Government could have considered the difficulty allowance until these roads got stabilised,” a civil servants said.

Nima Wangdi | Panbang