Thromde: Denchi town in Pemagatshel will be the dzongkhag thromde and Nganglam, the yenlag throm.

The dzongkhag tshogdu during its 10th sitting yesterday decided this through a secret ballot where 14 of the 20 members voted for Denchi as the dzongkhag thromde. Pemagatshel has 11 gewogs, eight in Pemagatshel and three in Nganglam dungkhag. Six voted for Nganglam as the dzongkhag thromde.

The members had earlier endorsed Nganglam as dzongkhag thromde as proposed by the works and human settlement ministry. But the proposal couldn’t receive the blessing of the Parliament where members were divided on endorsing Nganglam as the dzongkhag thromde. Both Nganglam and Denchi were voted out after they failed to secure two-third majority or 54 “yes” votes even after three joint sittings were convened.

With many allegations made earlier, the chairperson, this time gave all the members an equal opportunity to express their views. Reminding all the DT members yesterday before the voting, DT chairperson Chongshing gup, Pema Dorji said without complicating the discussions, the members should clearly express whether Denchi or Nganglam should be the dzongkhag thromde.

Like earlier, the gups and mangmis from Pemagatshel said they preferred Denchi and two gups and mangmis from Nganglam preferred Nganglam.

Most of the members said this time they consulted all the villagers because there was enough time to meet and discuss the issue unlike earlier where no public consultation was carried out.

Reasoning that Nganglam was already a developing town, most of the villagers said the dzongkhag thromde should be near the dzongkhag where the construction of a new dzong is already going on.

“We’re happy and appreciate that Nganglam is developing economically with many institutions and industries coming up and business booming,” Shumar Gup Lepo said. “So why not support Denchi to be the dzongkhag thromde and let it develop,” he told the other members.

Many said they had voted for Nganglam during the 9th DT because the members thought the works and human settlement has already decided the dzongkhag thromde and the members were there only to approve it.

“But we understood it wasn’t like this after the issue reached the National Assembly,” Dungmin Gup Ugyen Tshering said.

Two members, a gup and mangmi from Choekhorling in Nganglam could not make it to the tshogdu because of an inaccessible road following a major road block and swelling river that has left the gewog cut off.

But Decheling gup Sonam Rinchen said their absence wouldn’t have made any differences even if they made it to the meeting because it was obvious they would still be outvoted.

“When it was already decided once, there was no need to discuss it again, which divided the gewogs and created disharmony,” gup Sonam Rinchen said referring to the earlier decision of approving Nganglam as the thromde. “Huge expenditure has been spent surveying and developing other infrastructure in Nganglam, so if dzongkhag thromde was in Nganglam, lot of cost would be saved.”

The proposed dzongkhag and yenlag thromde that the DT endorsed would now be submitted to the ministry to be tabled in the coming winter session of the Parliament for approval.

However, most of the members expressed they hope the parliamentarians this time will not confuse the matter and respect the DT’s decision “instead of treating their decision like a joke.”

Yangchen C Rinzin, Pemagatshel