To provide services to villagers, local leaders in Wangdue ask for replacement of officials who are away on studies

DT: Local leaders in Wangdue have requested the government to provide replacement for gewog extension and administration officers when they leave for studies, and to also depute gewogs with RNR staff separately.

Raising the issue at the recent Wangdue dzongkhag tshogdu, gups said that when these officers leave for studies, their posts remain vacant and with no replacement sent, the gewog administration is facing problems in delivering services to people.

Sephu gup Rinchen Penjore said the gewog does not have all three RNR staff- agriculture, forestry and livestock officers, who are vital service providers for the people. He said two left for studies while one was transferred. Sephu and Gangtey gewogs share a forestry extension officer.

“If they need to seek any help related to agriculture, livestock and forestry, they have to travel to dzongkhag administration, and in most cases they don’t get the required help,” the gup said.

Most places in Wangdue are about two-three hours drive from the dzongkhag administration, and some can be reached only on foot.

Dangchu gup Sonam Dorji said the gewog has also faced a similar problem. “When extension officers left for studies, the gewog was not given a replacement as his post remains occupied,” he said.

Thedtsho gup, Phurba Namgyal, who is also the DT chairman said every gewog has faced this issue and that it needs to be resolved. “There are instances when the extension and administration officers leave for studies and don’t even inform the gewog administration,” added a local leader.

The issue of two gewogs having to share RNR staff was another concern the local leaders raised. Gasey Tshogwom gup Sangay said the gewog has RNR buildings/offices but most remain closed. This was because, the gewog share all three RNR staffs with its neighboring gewog, Gasey Tshogoam gewog. “The RNR staff are based in TshogGom and come to our gewog only when there is important work,” he said. It is of difficult for both staff and villagers.

This problem is faced in Dangchu and Nyisho gewog as well, who share a forestry extension officer. Dangchu gup Sonam Dorji said they did not have a forest extension officer for about eight months, as he was working in Nyisho. “Since forestry officers have to deal with all housing and timber related issues, we requested the government to provide separate staff for individual gewogs,” he said.

While Rubesa gewog also has a similar problem, gewogs like Nahi and Kazhi lack gewog administration officers.

Nahi gup Karpo Dorji said the gewog does not have a gewog administration officer since September 2014, and has not received a replacement to date. “We approached the dzongkhag administration and local government office in Thimphu,” he said. The gewog was asked to wait until the Royal Civil Service Commission completes the OD exercise, the gup said.

Meanwhile, the dzongkhag administration officials said as per the Bhutan civil service rules, the post for an employee who has left for further studies is protected so that he or she can occupy the post on his/her return.  This is why, no substitute or replacement is sent.

By Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue