Former tshogpa sentenced for marijuana smuggling

Kelzang Wangchuk | Jomotshangkha

Without a tshogpa in Khandrophu-Minjiwoong chiwog in Serthi gewog, Samdrupjongkhar, for the last five months, gewog officials claim they face difficulties in carrying out developmental activities.

Gewog officials also said they cannot relay information to chiwog residents for meetings without a tshogpa.

Jomotshangkha drungkhag court sentenced the former tshogpa for illegal smuggling of marijuana in August last year.

Serthi gup, Pema Chophel, said it had been a problem for the gewog without a tshogpa in the chiwog, as the gewog officials face challenges to inform people whenever the gewog conducts meetings related to developmental activities in the chiwogs. “As of now, I manage to take the responsibilities of the tshogpa.”

He said developmental activities are carried out as per the chiwog tshogpa’s proposals but without the tshogpa, there is no one to represent the chiwog in the gewog tshogde.

Gup Pema Chophel said most problems arise during the registration for the new census.

He said that the gewog had written a letter to the dzongkhag election office to conduct a bye-election for the chiwog tshogpa as the chiwog had got two interested candidates who appeared in the functional literacy test (FLT).

“We’re expecting a bye-election soon.”

The responsibilities of tshogpa is to inform people, represent them in the gewog tshogde and propose developmental activities in the chiwogs.

Residents said the tshogpa helped them propose developmental activities such as drinking water and farm roads in the chiwog. “We don’t have anyone to share our concerns and inform to the gewog today,” a resident said.

They also said they were worried there wouldn’t be many developmental activities in the chiwog because there was no one to represent them in the gewog tshogde. “It would help if the election office could conduct a bye-election soon,” a resident, Lhamo, said.

The dzongkhag election officials said since there are two interested candidates who appeared FLT before, they have written to the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) for the bye-election. “We’ll conduct bye-election in the chiwog soon,” an official said.