Neten Dorji | Trashigang

With the easing of lockdown gradually, local leaders in Trashigang preparing to resume various development activities in the gewogs.

However, there are some challenges like construction materials shortage and budget release, among others.

Merak gup Lam Rinchen said that they could not begin the blacktopping work due to the lockdown. “We were about to award the work to the contractor when the lockdown came all of a sudden,” he said.

Merak gewog has major activities like blacktopping work, construction of hostels, footpath and construction of farm roads. “If pandemic did not improve, it would be difficult to get construction materials as we have to imported all materials.”

Khaling gup, Tashi Dorji said that the gewog was yet to start plan activities of the 2020-2021 financial year. “The biggest concern is the unavailability of construction materials,” he said. “If we fail to complete some projects on time, the allocated fund goes back to the government.”

He said he replaced major work with small activities in the current financial year 2020-2021. “After the Covid-19 outbreak in the country, we decided to continue major activities in the future. If the pandemic continues, it would hinder the development activities,” he added.

One of the local leaders said that they were waiting for the government to release budget and directives to buy construction materials.

“It is also time to support the government and sacrifice some activities by diverting the funds to contain the disease,” he said.

Yangnyer gup, Dupthob said the lockdown and pandemic would not have much effect on the development activities his gewog.

He said that it was not late to start the activities since the dzongkhag administration has an adequate human resource.

“There is ample time to complete any kind of project,” he said. “Development activity is important to people, but the most important is the safety of people.”

Meanwhile, Kanglung Gup, Kinzang Dorji said that nothing has hampered the development activities in his gewog until now.  “As lockdown is easing down, we’re planning to resume work following the ‘Covid-19’ protocol,” he said. “We are hoping the pandemic would cease.”

Local leaders said they don’t have to worry about labour as villagers will be available after a few months to carry out the development activities.