Labour minister questioned about water supply pledge

People of Gozhi assured that government working on finding a solution

Water: Labour Minister Nyeema Sangay Tshenpo, who is also the representative in parliament for Tashiding, Dagana, was questioned about his campaign promises to solve water shortages being faced in the dzongkhag, during a gewog meeting held on April 10.

Gozhi Gup Prem Kumar Dahal asked the minister when he would start the new water supply project. The gup said Dagapela town and several areas of Gozhi continue to face water shortages as existing sources are drying up.

The gup pointed out that during the 2013 campaign, Lyonpo Nyeema Sangay Tshenpo had pledged to resolve the water shortage problems.

“People are hopeful and want to know when the problem will be solved,” said Prem Kumar, during the prime minister and labour minister’s visit to Gozhi last week.

Dagapela town which partly falls under the gewogs of Gozhi and Tsendagang has been facing acute water shortage. In 2012, a study was carried out to explore supplying the town with drinking water from a new source in Lemechu.

Officials said Lemechu is an untapped water source that in Kana gewog. The source is located 25km from Dagapela.

The water supply if tapped is expected to benefit several other places besides Dagapela town.

Following the study, the design of the project was completed but budget constraints prevented its implementation.

The issue has been raised at several meetings and tshogdus.

In 2013, Lyonpo Nyeema Sangay Tshenpo during his election campaign promised to complete the project, local leaders said.

At the recent gewog meeting, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said that both the labour minister and the representative of Drujeygang-Tseza were very concerned about the issue and have been raising it since 2013. Both have even approached the Office of the Prime Minister regarding the issue, he said.

He added that the supply of drinking water is important and that Gozhi has 98 percent access to drinking water.

He said the Lemechu source should benefit all areas including Gozhi, Dagepla, Tsendagang and Tashidhing. As a result, the cost of the project will be high, Lyonchoen said.

The government along with Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) will work on the water supply project and attempt to resolve it, Lyonchoen added.

While the government will take care of the projects cost, the prime minister said people should also be mindful and take care of existing water facilities and make full use of them.

He pointed out that although the gewog has 16 irrigation channels, it still has irrigation water shortages like many gewogs in Dagana.

The irrigation water for several places including Dagapela would also be brought from the Lemechu water source. However, since there is a need to build much larger irrigation channels for Dagapela, the GNHC will work out if this project can be included within the 11th plan, he said.

Dawa Gyelmo | Dagana

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