Connectivity: Eight chiwogs in Thimphu are yet to receive mobile connectivity.

Three chiwogs in Dagala gewog – Wangdro, Dungdro and Getela – are without mobile connectivity.

Khariphu in Mewang gewog, Jangbithang and Gangyul in Lingzhi gewog and Mentsiphu and Zhomthang in Naro gewog are also yet to be connected.

Jhomolhari Lhakhang and the army camp in Soe gewog also remain without without mobile connectivity. The dzongkhag has 77.3 percent mobile network coverage which means 22 percent of settlements are unconnected.

This was revealed at the mid-term review (MTR) of the 11th Five-Year Plan held on April 18 in Thimphu.

Dzongdag Tshewang Rinzin said discussions are being held with relevant stakeholders to provide the facility.

He reported that the dzongkhag has achieved 100 percent rural electrification. Although the gewogs of Soe, Naro and Lingzhi are off-grid, he said the government has provided solar panels.

It was reported that 98 percent of the total households in Thimphu have access to safe drinking water.

The dzongdag said the construction of street lights is also on track. He said Depsi will get street lighting in the fiscal year 2017-18.

The dzongdag said some of the targets in agriculture would not be achieved as the dzongkhag has been losing arable land to urbanisation projects and housing construction. Farmers, he said, are motivated to cultivate vegetables due to cash incentives.

Tshewang Rinzin said initiatives would be taken to enhance awareness and education among the public to ensure that cases are referred to health facilities for immediate check up and necessary support.

Overall, the dzongkhag’s development activities are on track to be achieved. The dzongdag reported that the dzongkhag was also on track to achieve targets in enhancing transparency and in public service delivery, among other areas.

Speaking at the MTR meeting, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay urged the local leaders and others involved in development to refrain from corrupt practices. He said any suspicion about corruption should be immediately reported to the Anti-Corruption Commission.

The prime minister said rural development was the main aim of the 11th Five-Year Plan and that the government would support projects that will enhance rural income. He said the government’s efforts should benefit people and that funds will be provided to achieve rural development.

He also urged the participants to encourage women to give birth in hospitals and that infant mortality should be contained. “It’s necessary to deliver babies in hospital,” he said.

If need be, he said the government would provide helicopter services.

MB Subba