Paro loses one gewog to thromde

People of Wangchang gewog appeals to NA Speaker

Thromde: Wangchang gewog in Paro has lost its status as a gewog after three of its five chiwogs fell in the recently demarcated and endorsed Paro dzongkhag thromde boundary.

The Chief Election Commissioner, Dasho Kunzang Wangdi announced this when he released the delimitation map for 15 dzongkhag thromdes yesterday.

Of the five chiwogs, Olathang-Gantey, Khangkhu and Changka-Jangtey chiwogs are now in dzongkhag thromde.

The Local Government Act requires a minimum of five chiwogs to be eligible for a gewog. With three chiwogs gone, around 90 percent of about 3,000 registered voters of the gewog will vote in the thromde elections next year during the local government elections.

The change, meanwhile, has left the people of Wangchang unhappy.

On July 2, when ECB’s delimitation commission members met with around 75 people from the dzongkhag, for a public hearing on the draft delimitation plan, all of them disagreed with the Parliament’s decision.

The public hearing was organised to provide adequate opportunity for the public, local government officials of affected gewogs and chiwogs to understand, discuss and express their views before the issuance of the final delimitation order.

Chairman of Paro dzongkhag tshogdu, Phub Tshering said people were concerned, as about a thousand acres of paddy field in the gewog would be affected. “We don’t want to destroy our beautiful paddy field at the cost of development,” said Phub Tshering. “Damaging that is against the policy of food self sufficiency.”

Phub Tshering added that there wouldn’t have been any problem had the Parliament endorsed the boundary map of the dzongkhag thromde, which the dzongkhag prepared on the recommendation of dzongkhag tshogdu. “Parliament endorsed the boundary map that was prepared by the works and human settlement ministry that many of us were not aware of,” he said.

The chairman said that the boundary prepared by the dzongkhag tshogdu had skipped paddy fields, the Paro dzong, the airport and Paro College of Education.

Appeal

To change the decision, people from the gewog have appealed to the Speaker of the National Assembly requesting the Parliament to review the map and relook at the issue.

The letter states that the people are in favour of the boundary map, which has avoided paddy fields. “We would request the Speaker to consider the boundary map prepared by dzongkhag tshogdu,” the letter reads.

Wangchang gup, Thinley Dorji said apart from losing out a major chunk of paddy field, people will also be deprived of rural benefit such as subsidy on timber, exemption of taxes. “Many people have no potential to pay urban taxes and construct buildings,” said Thinley Dorji.

The declaration of the dzongkhag thromdes and dzongkhag yenlag thromdes has also changed boundaries of 34 gewogs and 56 chiwogs while one chiwog in Samkhar gewog in Trashigang has come under the thromde.

Ninety thromde tshogde tshogpa demkhongs (constituency) were allocated in the 15 dzongkhag thromdes, with a minimum of six constituencies in each dzongkhag. A press release from the commission states that since the voter population in these 15 thromdes are less than 5,000 as of today, only six constituencies were allocated for each.

By Tenzin Namgyel

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