LG: The former gups of Getena, Metedkha, and Phuentsholing in Chukha will not re-contest in this upcoming Local Government (LG) elections, while the gups from Bongo, Dungna, Geling, Darla, and Sampheling will.

The former gups of Chapcha, Lokchina, and Bjabchho are yet to make a decision.

The former gups not re-contesting said that they want to see the younger generations participate and take over.

Former Getena gup, Khaley, 62, said he has served for a long time and done his part. “Although I can contest one more time, I think it is time for younger people to come forward,” he said.

Khaley served nine years as a mangmi and five years as a geydrung prior to serving as gup. Although facilities such as irrigation channels, electricity, drinking water, and road access were brought to his gewog,  Khaley is worried about some other development activities.

Electric fencing and improving road conditions, Khaley said, are what he considers the next gup must focus on.

While electric fencing is already in the plan, he said that he would like to see a road connect Getena with Dorona, Dagana someday. He added that the connectivity would help the two places economically and socially.

Former Metedkha gup, Jangchuk, 49, said that the young must step up. “Without giving the young generation this opportunity, we will never know how capable they are,” he said. “I want to give the opportunity to them.”

Jangchuk feels that his gewog needs better road connectivity. Metedkha is one of the remotest and smallest gewogs in Chukha with 116 households.

Former Phuentsholing gup, Chandra Bahadur Ghalley, who is not re-contesting, also wants to see the young take over.

Meanwhile, the former gups of Bongo, Dungna, Geling, Sampheling, and Darla  are re-contesting in the upcoming LG elections. They said it was the people in their gewogs who persuaded them to re-contest.

Having served as mangmi and geydrung for about 10 years before becoming the Bongo gup in 2011, Tashi Dorji, 56, said this would be the last time he serves in the post if he is elected.

He said three villages in the gewog: Baikunza, Toktogom, and Gaedephu,  do not have road connectivity. He said that he would connect these villages.

Former Dungna  gup, Lam Dorji, will also re-contest for the position he has held for the past decade. “Dungna is a distant gewog,” he said. “I will work to improve the current road condition.”

The road condition has been damaged in many areas due to the recent rainfall. It is yet to be fully black topped.

Although there is no human-wildlife conflict in Dungna, Lam Dorji said his gewog still needs to improve and develop. He said he wants to turn his gewog into a self-sufficient one.

Former Geling gup, Phub Dorji, 46, will re-contest based on the people’s requests. “I served well and wanted to quit but people are requesting me to re-contest,” he said, adding that roads need to be constructed in many places in his gewog. “Although some are in the plan, the people want me to stay and complete them.”

Phub Dorji said that villagers walk eight hours to reach Geling goenpa.

Phub Dorji has served as a mangmi, geydrung, and a tshogpa prior to becoming a gup.

Mani Kumar Rai, 37, of Sampheling gewog is also re-contesting given requests. He has been gup for 10 years.

Mani Kumar Rai said road connectivity was the major development target in his gewog and that full road access will be achieved within the current financial year.

Improving road conditions and other facilities will be his main responsibility, he said, besides serving as a bridge between the public and government.

Former Darla gup, Mil Kumar Mongar, 38, has also decided to re-contest.

He served as gup since 2013. He was elected in a bye-election after the previous gup passed away. He served as a geydrung prior.

Although people are requesting the former gups of Chapcha, Lokchina, and Bjabchho to re-contest, they are yet to make a decision.

All the former gups of the 11 gewogs in Chukha have handed over their respective offices.

Rajesh Rai | Tshimasham