The hailstorm of October affected about 4,000 people across the country

Council: His Majesty’s office has started providing relief kidu to the victims of last month’s hailstorm and windstorm in the affected dzongkhags, the agriculture minister Yeshey Dorji said yesterday at the National Council’s question hour.

Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji said the relief programme started yesterday in Punakha and Wangdue, where affected farmers were given monetary kidu.

The ministry had dispatched teams of officials to assess the damage. The report was then submitted to the His Majesty The King’s office.

Soon the relief kidu would be provided to the affected dzongkhags in the east as well, Lyonpo said. “It’s kidu, not compensation and all of us should be grateful to His Majesty The King,” he said.

The natural calamity of October 13 and 23 had affected 22 gewogs in six dzongkhags of Punakha, Wangdue, Lhuentse, Mongar, Trashigang, and Trashiyangtse.  The calamity affected 791 households, most of which the minister said, were poor.

“Taking an average of five persons per household, the total number of the affected people would come almost 4,000,” he said.

Nationwide, the hailstorm damaged 735 acres of rice field, 20 acres of maize field and six acres of chilli field.

Most of the maize fields were affected in Trashiyangtse and Mongar dzongkhags, while Wangdue saw the maximum damage of chillies.

The hardest hit dzongkhag was Wangdue, where the damage spread over 379 acres of cultivated land affecting 217 households.

Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji also informed that the government was planning a viable long-term strategy and mobilizing resources to minimise the impact of such catastrophes in future.

On the issue of tsamdro and sokshing, lyonpo Yeshey Dorji said the ministry has completed works related to compensation and leasing of tsamdro in Punakha. He said the government aims to complete leasing and compensation in 10 more dzongkhags by mid 2016 and nine others in 2016-17.

MB Subba