Chimi Dema | Dagana

Obtaining firewood permit through Government to Citizen (G2C) eService is taking longer than before, according to local leaders in Dagana.

This, the local leaders say, is because of the shortage of human resources in the community centres (CC).

At the ninth dzongkhag tshogdu conducted on March 11, Tashiding mangmi Rajman Blon said obtaining firewood permit through G2C eService takes at least a week today. “We used to obtain the permit in a day before.”

Gup Namgay Pelden said that the G2C eServices were expected to improve and expedite public service delivery. “However, it causes more inconvenience to people when obtaining firewood permit.”

She said farmers have to follow several procedures and spend more time to get the permit unlike in the past. “Besides waiting for approval of application, applicants need to visit the gewog centre and the forest range office at least three times.”

She said it is also important to deploy CC operators considering the populations of the communities. “There are more than 4,000 people in the gewog. On an average, about 60 people apply for firewood permit in a month.”

The gup added that the CC operators also took care of the Cottage and Small Industry loan in the community and it made it difficult for them to provide the service on time. “When they’re made to multitask, it affects service delivery.”

To ensure that services are easily accessible to the public at reduced cost, Gup Namgay Pelden suggested seeking appointment with forestry officials for marking a tree through a phone call.

She also said that it would be convenient if services were being taken care of by the forestry officials like in the past.

Goshi Gup Tandin suggested making uniform permit services delivery for firewood, sand and boulder.

He said that permits for sand and boulder were easily accessible unlike the permit for firewood.

However, Dagana’s forest range officer, Kencho Wangdi, who attended the DT, said that doing away with the G2C eService for firewood permit was not within the agriculture ministry’s authority. “It was launched by the Cabinet Secretariat.”

He explained sand and boulder permits would also be provided online in the future.

Dagana Dzongdag Duba recommended forestry officials to visit the gewogs and closely monitor the problems and identify the lapses.

The DT decided to deliberate the issue in the next session if the problem persists to provide recommendations to the ministry.