Visit: Chukha’s most remote gewog Metakha will be busy next year. The gewog that did not see one minister visiting them since democracy began in the country will receive five ministers in the next six months.

Ministers from education, health, works and human settlement, agriculture, and home will be visiting the gewog.

Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay promised this to the gewog on December 22. The five ministers will be there to inspect the development prospects. Expressing concerns that not a single minister had visited the gewog, lyonchoen said the government would not understand the problems people face in the grassroots. “This should not happen,” he said.

The ministers’ visit would be opportunity for the Metakha people to raise issues, he said. One of the important developments the gewog needed was road connectivity. Explaining that blacktopping would start soon, lyonchoen said, roads are needed to facilitate education and boost agriculture.

Metakha is about 61km from the Thimphu – Phuentsholing highway point at Ganglakha and its gewog connectivity road is still not blacktopped. Although vehicles ply, the road condition from Kungkha, a 17km point from Ganglakha until Metakha is coarse.

Unlike other gewogs in Chukha, Metakha does not have a greenhouse yet. A greenhouse, Lyonchoen promised would be sent soon so the people could study its benefits. In addition to an existing power tiller that was recently provided to the gewog, Lyonchoen promised another for people to try and see. However, there is no one in the gewog that can operate the power tiller and the existing machine remains underutilized.

The Metakha people were assured that the dzongdag and the gup would find potential persons to be trained as operators. The gewog has also not yet tried electric fencing and a village would be chosen to test the fencing. Since Metakha farmers grow cardamom aplenty, there is also an understanding that drying the cash crop in firewood had lessened the chances of better prices.

Phuentsholing MP Rinzin Dorji, Lyonchoen mentioned had been researching for a better system to dry the crop through solar or electricity. A villager also expressed concerns about Metakha Primary School (PMS) that was damaged by earthquake early this year. Without any support, the seven teachers, the gup said has collectively decided to repair the school on their own. Applauding the teachers’ effort, Lyonchoen said the dzongkhag administration would make necessary follow-ups on the PMS status. “We will support in whatever ways we can,” Lyonchoen said.

None from Metakha has ventured into commercial projects through the Business Opportunity and Information Centre (BOiC). People lacked skills in documentation processes to apply BOiC loans, it was learnt.

However, Metakha people were happy after Lyonchoen shared that MP Rinzin Dorji would take the initiative to help process five project proposals from the gewog as an encouragement.

Rajesh Rai, Metakha