SDP: With the budget for Tongling pam-Kharangpagpa farm road approved, villagers of Tongling chiwog in Radhi gewog are looking forward to a better life.

Government of India, through its small development project (SDP) has committed Nu 3M for construction of a farm road that would benefit about 80 households of Tongling, Khatoe, Khamoe and Kharangpagpa villages.

Although the budget was approved for construction of a kilometer long farm road, the gewog would be constructing about four-km road that would stretch till Dui gonpa point.

With the coming of the farm road, a major benefit according to Radhi mangmi, Pema Wangchuk, would be the use of over 50 acres of land at Kharangpagpa that has been left fallow to this day.

“Without road connectivity, people didn’t cultivate their land at Kharangpagpa although it is very fertile. The area has grown into a forest today,” he said.

The mangmi added that people of Tongling chiwog have to travel all the way to Chaling chiwog in Shongphu gewog to reach Dui gonpa and other villages. Hence, people of the two gewogs don’t share a good relationship because of the farm road.

“As villagers have to use the Chaling farm road, we are required to contribute labour during maintenance of the farm road,” he said. “Since the farm road also infringes into Radhi gewog, it was constructed with an agreement that Radhipas need not contribute any labour.”

Tongling tshogpa, Pemdel Tshering, has plans to grow maize and paddy in his two acre uncultivated land at Kharangpagpa.

“Most villagers in Tongling are old and cultivating at Kharangpagpa meant walking for hours through dense forest,” he said. “A farm road would make the place more accessible. Villagers can make use of machineries for farming as well.”

Dekiling tshogpa, Ngawang Tshering, said most villagers of Dui gonpa have their paddy fields at Dekiling.

“During harvest time, Dui gonpa people have to hire bolero pick up trucks to ferry paddy back to their villages. Villagers pay Nu 1,000 a trip,” he said. “The farm road would drastically reduce the travel distance. Transportation costs would come down.”

Meanwhile, villagers also have plans to construct houses and settle down at Kharangpagpa in future.

By Tshering Wangdi, Trashigang