Despite challenges in running the country’s commercial hub, Phuentsholing thrompon Tsheten Dorji said he has decided to re-contest in the upcoming thromde elections

Q&A: Would you re-contest in the upcoming thromde election? Why?

Yes, I have decided to contest in the upcoming election. Given the sensitivity of Phuentsholing thromde being a border town, I feel that I have performed my duty satisfactorily in addition to the development activities. I can make a difference.

What accordingly to you are some of the significant achievements in the thromde after you assumed office?

I feel that any development activity should start with a proper plan. Therefore, we prepared the Phuentsholing Structure Plan in 2014 followed by nine Local Area Plans. We also constructed 2.03 kilometres of road, including a water supply for Gurung Dhara area.

We have three projects components under SASEC, Asian Development Bank (ADB), which started recently. The bypass road with a bridge over Omchu, Mini-Dry Port and Land Customs Station at Khogla, Pekarshing are the projects.

We also have landslides and river protection under NAPA-II project. One of the project areas is the Rinchending Check Post area where landslides have posed risk to the main highway. A new bridge over Omchu, near YDF building is also under construction under ADB project, which will provide a second crossing over the river.

As per the vision of His Majesty the King, the Tashi Commercial Corporation as Corporate Social Responsibility contribution from their side carried out the street landscaping from the main gate up to the roundabout and the landscaping around the Chorten area. We very much appreciate TCC for carrying out such project, which made a difference at the main gate area.

During the thrompon election, you pledged that your office would address the ever-growing housing crunch in Phuentsholing. Your five years term is almost over and thousands still live in Jaigaon. What happened?

Housing is still an issue in Phuentsholing. This does not mean that we have not done anything. An area of over nine acres was identified within the core area of Phuentsholing for housing. However, all these areas are currently occupied by old structures where people still live. Despite such constraints, we were able to provide an area where the National Housing Development Corporation constructed three buildings with a total of 24 units. We also acknowledge the government has given high priority to Phuentsholing thromde to resolve the housing issue.

What is the most challenging part of being a Thrompon?

As a Thrompon, every step is challenging starting from delivering of prompt and efficient services to the citizens to managing daily affairs of the thromde office. As such there is no silver bullet solution for any issues in the thromde. It is a learning process. We have to evolve and learn from the past lessons.

What is the biggest problem in Phuentsholing Thromde that needs attention today?

Phuentsholing being a commercial hub of the country has its own problems such as space constrains and other services such as water supplies, sewerages, solid wastes, etc due to floating population, particularly in winter. Further, sustainability of infrastructure built in olden days is also a challenge because of time. Housing as mentioned above is also an issue currently as well as shortage of manpower.