Activity stopped, says dzongdag

Thinley Namgay  

Lingzhi is remote, isolated and sparsely populated. But residents are equally concerned of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, reaching the drungkhag. They risk, residents say, could be from transporting essentials and construction materials from Shana, Tsento gewog in Paro.

A resident, Norbu, said that the construction work on two staff quarters at the Lingzhi Primary School was ongoing and materials are still being brought from Shana in Paro. “Recently, cement was transported twice to the site using horses. Wood for paneling was also brought while transporting essential food items,” he said.

Norbu said that residents are worried as they see people going around during the lockdown and Paro reported Covid-19 positive cases. “When we question people moving around, they say that they have permission from the dzongdag,” said Norbu.

Five Covid-19 positive cases were detected at Bonday and Woochu in Paro recently, which is outside the quarantine centres. These areas are identified as high alert zones and closely monitored by De-Suups and police.

However, Thimphu dzongdag, Dorji Tshering said that understanding the urgency, the dzongkhag administration has recently allowed people of Soe and Lingzhi to lift essential items and cement from Shana. He further added that there was no cement at Shana at present and movement of people transporting materials would not continue. Essential items to Naro gewog,  are being transported from Thimphu.

With the approval from the dzongkhag administration, people of Lingzhi have transported essential commodities using 160 horses and vegetables using 150 horses from Shana besides lifting cement.

Lingzhi Gup Wangdi said that people of Lingzhi hardly visit Shana without approval from the authorities. “We get stone, timber and other materials from our locality for the ongoing construction at Lingzhi Primary School. The cement that we once brought from Shana was collected before the lockdown.”

Shana is located at around 56km from the Paro town.