Opposition to support establishment of thromdes in all dzongkhags

The opposition had earlier expressed skepticism over its feasibility

Thromde: The opposition party will support the proposal to establish dzongkhag thromdes and yenla thromdes in twenty dzongkhags in the upcoming session of parliament despite skepticism from some quarters.

Works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden will present the boundaries of dzongkhag thromdes and yenla thromdes in the National Assembly (NA) on June 3.

The motion comes after the last session of parliament abolished the classification of dzongkhag thromdes as class A thromde and class B thromde through the amendment of the Local Government Act, 2008. The new Act treats all the dzongkhag thromdes as equal, unlike before.

The opposition Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) had earlier opposed the idea of establishing thromdes and yenla thromdes in every dzongkhag saying some of them would not be feasible.

The opposition leader (Dr) Pema Gyamtsho said that the government pushed the amendment calling for the establishment of dzongkhag and yenla thromdes for all dzongkhags despite the opposition party’s concerns. “Now that the Bill has been passed there is no point going back,” he said.

He added that since the  local government act has been amended it has to be implemented. “I hope that the government has carried out feasibility study of the thromdes,” he said.

Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that dzongkhag headquarters are already functioning and that the establishment of thromdes and yenla thromdes is just a process of strengthening the dzongkhag centres.

National Assembly Speaker Jigme Zangpo said that  the establishment of thromdes was a step towards fulfilling the constitutional mandate. “The proposal will be put in the NA and then to the National Council (NC),” he said.

Once the boundaries are complete, speaker Jigme Zangpo said that it will be the responsibility of the election commission to delimitate the constituencies.

Asked if the government has carried out a feasibility study on the thromdes and yenla thromdes, lyonpo Dorji Choden said that all dzongkhags including Gasa will have satellite towns. “The proposal in the parliament is to have dzongkhag thromdes and yenla thromdes for all 20 dzongkhags,” she said.

Despite the varying sizes of thromdes that will be carved out, the speaker said that all 20 thrompons will enjoy equal status and facilities as the law treats them equally. “We have 20 dzongdags and we have nothing like small or big dzongdags,” he said. “Similarly, all 205 gups enjoy equal status and entitlements irrespective of the size of their gewogs,” he said.

With the establishment of thromdes, he added that the government will be able to pursue balanced development and curb migration of people to the capital.

Article 22 (2) of the Constitution prescribes that the country should have local governments in all the dzongkhags comprising the dzongkhag tshogdu, gewog tshogde and thromde tshogde.

Asked if the establishment of thromdes merit immediate implementation, speaker Jigme Zangpo said that once parliament passes the law it depends on the executive to implement, depending on the availability of resources. “Laws are enacted looking at future and if there are some disagreements they can be discussed,” he said. “It’s a long process,” he added.

The works and human settlement ministry has also presented the report to the natural resources and environment committee (NREC) of the NC on various aspects of thromdes. The presentation also included maps of the proposed thromdes, total area of each thromde, boundary description and demography.

The members of the NREC sought clarifications on the viability of some of the thromdes proposed, suitability of location, tax related issues, criteria considered for the nomination of dzongkhag and yenla thromdes, and delimitation.

The NREC was in the process of reviewing the bifurcation and rationalisation of gewogs and had conducted its initial meeting with the ministry

Meanwhile, some quarters of society are of the view that instituting thromdes in all 20 dzongkhags does not merit immediate implementation as the Constitution does not prescribe the time for their implementation.

Some MPs argue that the government cannot deprive a dzongkhag of its constitutional right to have a thromde. A member of parliament said that if the government delays the establishment of thromdes any further, development will be concentrated only on those dzongkhags with thromdes. “Establishment of yenla thromde each in every dzongkhag will help us in the long run,” he said.

By MB Subba

6 replies
  1. Master
    Master says:

    I think it would be better to copy some of the ideas from the well planned cities of the world. Our leaders think by developing towns in other places would be balanced development and hopefully bring the rural urban migration to drop but i think it will only create a situation unfavorable to all of our future generations.
    Let’s also not forget about tourism, by building concrete structures does not necessarily mean development. Tourist visit our country to have a different outlook and unique architecture, which we have willingly agreed to create concrete jungle. Think it’s more important to build homes and not just buildings. A sense of community and brotherhood. As the rest of the world we have become materialists and driven by consumerism, which also proves we are human after all.
    If we ask ourselves the most important question: do we we want our children to live in harmony or disterss? Should we feel proud of our achievement or be shameful of what we’ve done?
    Here’s what we are doing: destroying all of our fields and creating more hunger. Destroying forests and fighting for water! In a world where wants are unlimited and resources scarce, we better be ready to sacrifice something or we shall have nothing to pass on, except towns with buildings and nothing more. No life nor any value.
    Just think about how the rest of the world became developed and mostly the south asian countries be LDC’s? I think it was because of the leaders, who were visionaries that strived to overcome difficulties and selflessly worked for the society as a whole. Unlike our politicians who think about themselves first and then second comes our public/people. Guess that’s how politics works. God bless!

  2. joker
    joker says:

    Even today, apart from Thimphu, what do the thrompoens of other three town do? Thrompoen (Mayor) is a very senior title and has a great responsibility equivalent to that of Dzongda. How many of our towns really need Thrompoens? When we are talking about merging geogs because of les population and small area at the backdrop of high cost, we are again planning to establish thromdes which will absorb so much of our resources. In many rowns, it will be simply funny to have 20 or 30 shops under one thrompoen.

  3. Jangchubsempalugiraw
    Jangchubsempalugiraw says:

    In one hand we hearing the talk about rationalizing or reducing number of Goegs. On other hand now we hear every 20 dzongkhags will have thromde . There will be no problem fore seen in just appointing or electing as Thrompoen to 20 dzongkhags but what those thrompons will do for the dzongkhag which doesn’t have big thro? Can we effort to pay the hefty bucks for doing nothing?

  4. depbaap
    depbaap says:

    I agree. Due to apathetic and indifferent attitude on parts of planners and decision makers cities and towns in Bhutan are in mess. As said above, none of the cities including Thimphu has proper drainage, water supply or amenities facilities. I simply wonder why we have to imitate other countries. Why can not we do things differently? Is there a need to have town in every Dzongkhag? Opposition supporting Government decision is another short sighted populist step. I wonder who cares for long term beauty and health of Bhutan????

  5. logical
    logical says:

    The active members of CAPITAL’S planners were not from among the stake holders in the locality. What they did provides enough evidences they were CHANCE TAKERS at woes and loses of others (stake holders) in Thimphu. They imported FOREIGN rules to frame policies of grabbing land from the Thram holders but enforced BHUTANESE WAYS for MODERN BUILDINGS with industrial materials.

    Did anybody notice how gleefully they marched the dozers into the soft paddy land of the WANG VALLEY, threatening some of the reluctant owners sentimentally defending their ancestral properties with death by crushing under the dozer? There was real meeting and conflict of HUMANITY and STATE BEAST face to face on the scene! It was then that people of Thimphu also realized the need for RECOGNITION and protection of HUMAN RIGHTS in Bhutan!

    In the overall, URBANIZING over LARGE AREA does not bring together the local communities. Individualism and profit motives drive over past tradition and custom. We land up facing direct contradiction between state policy of preserving and promoting national culture and allowing hot vices of cold modernity leading to fast deterioration of values in open conflict of making choice between the two.

    I agree with Master that some of the works should be left for the coming generation to conduct more professionally, fulfilling the needs of that generation and the expected generations in future. Its waste to rush with the agenda of urbanization taking the experience of Thimphu and Phuentsholing.

  6. Master
    Master says:

    Even though the idea of having thromde in all the dzongkhags is great, do we have the capital needed? As all of you know what a mess these planners have made of thimphu, i really worry and hope it won’t be the same for the new towns too.
    They have just made some roads and given approval to build buildings, without even giving a thought about parking, drainage, water connection, playgrounds, parks etc. I even feel that we should give the yonger generation a chance, by not developing every thing ourselves.
    The irony is that people do not care or rather do not talk about it. The roads are full of pot holes, garbage everywhere, drains clogged and the stench fills the air. How is it that we say we are happy? Are we living in denial? This isn’t GNH I hoped for. So I think our leaders need to revisit the plan and really give it a good and rational thought so we don’t make the same mistakes as the capital. God bless!

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