Roads: Six villages of Pana in Sampheling gewog, Chukha will be connected by a farm road by next year.

At present a 5km road that starts from Singye Chhu close to the Pasakha industrial estate is under development and will be completed in July.

Sampheling Gup, Mani Kumar Rai, said that the current 5km road for which construction started in mid-2015 is funded under the Government of India’s Small Development Project (SDP) scheme. About Nu 8.7 million has been allocated.

However, there will still be another 9km of road left to construct until Pana and to connect all six villages. “That part will be funded by the government,” the gup said.

With this farm road, more than 120 households of Pana will get their first road connection.

Pana is close to the Indian border villages of Rangamati and vehicles can reach Pana from the Indian side. Earlier, people took this shortcut route to reach Pasakha.

However, villagers faced hardship in transporting vegetables and dairy products to Pasakha market.

Locals have already started to take advantage of the under construction farm road.

Uma Devi Chhetri, 53, of Daragaon in Pana is one of those farmers who brings vegetables and dairy products to sell in Pasakha today.

“I come at 7am,” she said. “Although it is time consuming, the farm road is still safe and more comfortable than the shortcut I used to take.” She said that the farm road had benefitted her much.

It takes Uma Devi Chhetri about five hours to sell her produce.

But the villagers of Pana say they would also like to see a bridge constructed over the Singye Chhu in future. The ongoing farm road construction crosses the river just below an existing bailey bridge.

DANTAK is also in the process of constructing another larger bridge near the bailey bridge.

“It is difficult during the summer time,” another villager of Pana, Bina Thapa said.

She added that people would face problems in travelling to the Basic Health Unit at Rangeytoong and the hospital in Phuentsholing without the bridge.

Villagers also said that students from Pana who are studying in Chumigthang middle secondary school would face problems in travelling back to school after summer vacations.

Currently, students have been using a path from Rangeytoong to arrive at Pasakha, a walk that takes more than three hours.

Construction of the remaining 9km farm road will commence from July this year.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing