Choki Wangmo | Tsirang

Landowners of Dzamlingthang chiwog in Gosarling are at loggerheads with the gewog administration about an approach road construction to the primary school in the chiwog.

Residents accuse the gewog administration of not aligning the road construction with the initial survey and building it in a different location, depriving a road connection to the school.

Currently, the starting point for the whole stretch of the road remains barricaded by the landowner, Pem Tenzin.

He said that as the road was meant for the school, unless the gewog administration works on that, the landowners would not cooperate.

“The budget for approach road connection was proposed in 2015. Even after these many years, there is no clear information from the administration,” he alleged.

He said that most of the landowners agreed to pool their land for road construction through altruism as it would benefit the students. Residents claimed that the current approach road from a different location was unsafe for children.

Some residents alleged that the gewog administration is trying to divert the budget towards farm road construction in Pemathang chiwog, from where the gup is from.

However, Gosarling Gup Ram Bdr Karki, said that the approach road couldn’t be constructed as the public refused to give clearance. “If we get the clearance, the work could be completed in a day. We have also allocated the budget.”

As of now, the road construction couldn’t continue from an individual Renuka Nepal’s land who agreed in the initial phase of road construction but later refused as six other households in Pelrithang chiwog declined to give the clearance.

It was found out that Renuka Nepal would give the clearance if the other households agreed to it.

“If we get the clearance from these households in Pelrithang, Renuka is willing to contribute. For now, she did not agree as the further construction would only damage her mandarin orchard if the road construction was unsuccessful,” said the gup.

He said that the residents wanted the approach road from two other locations; one which was technically infeasible due to the gradient and another that would lead towards the school football ground.

The current road was technically approved by the dzongkhag engineer too, the gup claimed.

The construction of the 980-metre-long approach road, the gup, said was filled with disagreements as there are other parties swaying the mind of the landowners, creating disharmony. “The road construction works began last September. Landowners have objected to the gewog’s effort to complete the works twice,” Ram Bdhr Karki said.

The residents reportedly wrote to the dzongkhag administration to resolve the issue but the officials concerned instructed the residents and the gewog administration to come to an agreement among themselves.

Meanwhile, six households from Pelrithang chiwog that refused to give clearance said that the road was not built according to the alignment.

“There are conflicts of interest,” one said.

Another refused to sign on the clearance as he has been fighting a court case about the land for over a decade.

At the site, the half-built road has suffered damage. Without a drainage system, the monsoon rain has eroded the road at certain points, while grasses and shrubs have started growing.

Pelrithang and Pemathang chiwogs’ farm road construction is a single package carried out by the same contractor.