Male Iron Rat Year
Tshering Namgyel | Mongar
With the royal guest house in Mongar transformed into eastern Covid-19 hospital on His Majesty the King’s command, Mongar played an important role in treating Coronavirus positive patients.
Nine patients, four each from Samdrupjongkhar and Bumthang and one from Trongsa were kept in isolation centre in the hospital and recovered.
The year also saw 16 farmers from the dzongkhag taken to court for playing archery during the second nationwide lockdown. Police also booked eight women for playing khuru during the lockdown.
In the year, Mongar dzongkhag also saw 15 students drop out of schools when schools reopened for class 10 and 12. Few married, a few joined nunnery and a few left for job. Some decided to continue next year.
With schools closed because of the pandemic and students forced to attend online classes, a 13-year-old from Drametse took his life after his parents could not buy him a mobile phone.
Meanwhile, in Lhuentse, the pandemic brought many local tourists visiting popular religious sites like Singye dzong and Rinchen Bumpa. The dzongkhag also revived about 33kms Rodongla trek from Lhuentse to Bumthang. About 35 log bridges were installed over streams in marshy areas and some attached to rocky slopes with a smaller path as one the most prominent tourism products the dzongkhag developed as part of the tourism flagship programme.
In what was seen as a major development for Lhuentse town, the widening of road and infrastructure development of Phaling town kicked off in the year. In Autsho, 40 plots with 10 decimal each in the state land and 14 plots of private owners had been already developed. However, the dzongkhag administration is yet to allot the plots. They are waiting for the National Land Commissio to approve allotment criteria they set.
In the agriculture sector, the dzongkhag took advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic situation to boost domestic agriculture production in 2020.
In terms of road connectivity, it was a bad year for Lhuentse, as people were told the much-awaited Shingkhar-Gorgan bypass would not be constructed. The Dorjilung (Rotpashong) stretch has been chaotic for the residents of Lhuentse. The dzongkhag tshogdu (DT), in its July session, re-deliberated and resolved to widen or improve its highway from Gangola to Lhuentse town, and submitted the resolution to the Parliament and the government for approval.
Lhuentse also made headlines when the local leaders refused to distribute tobacco during the first nationwide lockdown.