Initiative: Bushy areas in Gelephu will soon be turned into agricultural land.

People in Gelephu gewog began clearing bushy areas from September last year. About 35 percent of bush land remains to be cleared.

The areas could not be cleared either because the owners could not be contacted or as land tax had not been paid.

Gelephu Gup Ugyen Wangchuk said that the gewog tried to contact the land owners but it was not possible.

“Some land owners have not paid their land tax for so long and some people did not turn up for clearing of bushes,” the gup said. “The land will be turned into government land in future,” he added.

Gup Ugyen Wangchuk said that the motive behind the clearing of bushes is for increased security, to remove hiding places for wild animals and the youth, and most importantly to increase the amount of area available for cultivation.

The gup said that drug paraphernalia, used condoms, and even stolen items were found in such bushy areas. “It means that youth are indulging in such activities in these bush areas,” he said.

He added that after clearing the bushes and creating more cultivable land, it would help in fulfilling annual performance agreement targets thus contributing to the development of the country’s economy.

Gelephu residents also said that such bushy areas allows for criminal activities like kidnapping, substance abuse, rape and hiding of stolen items, among others.

“After clearing all the bushes, the area for agriculture will increase leading to the improvement of the livelihood of the farmers and also contribute to the economy of our country,” a resident said.

Gelephu Thrompon Tikaram Kafley also pointed out that the keeping the bushy areas has drawbacks. He said that such areas are also an eyesore especially to those visiting the gewog.

Yeshey Dema | Gelephu