The absence of a bridge over Taklai River is one of the main reasons

Gelephu: Although it’s decided, a majority of local leaders from gewogs in Gelephu dungkhag are not satisfied with the decision to relocate the dungkhag administration to Umling. The fifth dzongkhag tshogdu had decided on the relocation last year.

Umling is about 32 km from Gelephu. Umling, Serzhong, Taraythang, Jigmecholing, Chuzagang, Samtenling and Gelephu are gewogs under Gelephu dungkhag.

Chuzagang gup Sangay Tshering said if infrastructure such as a bridge over the Taklai River is not in place, it would be inconvenient for the public of Chuzagang to use the dungkhag’s services.

“During monsoon, we cannot cross Taklai river to reach Umling and this would be inconvenient for the public,” he said.

He also said that he gave in writing to the government a petition where the people of Chuzagang had signed to either keep the dungkhag in the present location or to relocate it in a place where people of all seven gewogs could easily access the dungkhag.

Gup Sangay Tshering said the relocation was decided in the fifth dzongkhag tshogdu where all the 12 gewogs leaders were made to vote.

“We wanted just the seven gewogs’ local leaders from Gelephu dungkhag to vote so that the relocation decision would be fair but that didn’t happen,” the gup added.

Samteling gup Karma Geyleg also said that for the public, it is more convenient to have the dungkhag in the present location. “It is DT’s decision to relocate to Umling and we can’t say anything as the plans must be already in place now,” he said.

However, Sarpang Dzongdag Dawala said the decision came from the dzongkhag tshogdu and they are going ahead with the tshogdu’s decision.

“The idea of relocation was to provide quality service to the public but so far there is no plan to construct a bridge over Taklai River,” the dzongdag said.

Umling Gup Ugyen Norbu said the proposal to relocate the dungkhag came up after the government said that they couldn’t build a bridge over the Mao khola.

“We have enough land in Umling for the government to come up with constructions and we need not have to acquire private land in other places” he said.

He said, the dzongkhag officials have visited the site in Thongjazur, Umling, surveyed the land and submitted it to the ministry.

Relocating the dungkhag was one of the pledges of the government.

Of the 23 local leaders who voted on the electronic voting machine during the 5th DT meeting last year, 14 voted for Umling and nine for Chuzegang. The DT then endorsed the decision to shift the dungkhag to Thongjazor in Umling.

By Yeshey Dema, Gelephu