Phurpa Lhamo  | Wangdue

Ten individuals from Lunana, Gasa are today stranded in Punakha. They came to buy their supplies and participate in the coming cordyceps auction, which was to be held next week in Goenshari gewog, Punakha.    

According to Daw Gyeltshen, 45, he reached Punakha on Sunday and had plans to leave on Tuesday with supplies.

He added that he bought rice and other essential items, which were to be taken home for the coming winter. People in Lunana stock essential items for winter, when the roads are closed due to heavy snowfall. 

“We buy goods for the winter and don’t travel down between November and June every year,” Daw Gyeltshen said.

The stranded individuals also raised concerns over their horses, which are today left in Goenshari and Jazeyphu in Lunana gewog. 

Daw Gyeltshen said that people were worried that the horses would be lost if kept in the wild for long. “The people from Esuna village in Lunana were informed that around 16 horses are missing from Shari village in Goenshari, Punakha.” Many had plans to return to the horses within two days. Although a majority of the stranded individuals are with their relatives, others have rented rooms. 

Lunana Gup Kaka is also among those stranded in Punakha. 

Gup Kaka said that a majority of people returned to Lunana who were mid-way to Punakha when they heard of the cancellation of the auction. “I came here to organise the cordyceps auction. I am also planning to return home.”

While the gup can leave for Gasa with the National Covid-19 Task Force’s instructions to allow officials to travel to their resident dzongkhags, the movement of other stranded residents from Lunana isn’t ensured. 

Punakha dzongkhag officials are today collecting information on stranded individuals to render help. 

On August 12, the dzongkhag helped send over 30 individuals to their resident dzongkhags. 

“While it is easy to send home individuals with vehicles, it was difficult for those without transport. Although we want to help, we are not sure if other dzongkhags would be willing to accept them,” a Punakha dzongkhag official said. 

As of 8pm yesterday, Punakha dzongkhag recorded 33 stranded individuals including those nine from Lunana.