Nima Wangdi

The people of Phulingsum Chiwog in Guma Gewog, Punakha submitted a complaint letter to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on November 14 accusing their Tshogpa of being corrupt. The letter contains eight points justifying how the Tshogpa has been involved in corrupt practices.

People say that the Tshogpa in collusion with other gewog officials diverted the budget for the chiwog’s farm road construction without consulting with the people. “The budget, Nu 1 Million (M) was diverted for the construction of an irrigation channel that benefitted his sister-in-law.

“Another 0.5M allocated for irrigation channel construction was also diverted to a different place where his relatives and friends benefitted.”

People also accuse the tshogpa of not announcing the availability of electric fencing poles in the chiwog. The tshogpa, people say, kept the required number of poles for himself and shared the rest with some villagers. “The Tshogpa was supposed to announce to the public about the availability of the poles and call for the applications which he did not do.”

People also complain about the unfair distribution of drinking water from Okuluma source. Five people in tshogpa’s village had five pipes connected directly to the water tank while 15 households have to share water from a single pipe.

“The fruit tree plantation training was held at tshogpas house and a greenhouse was also constructed on his field,” a villager said. “Tshogpa also brought all the saplings to his house and distributed them after keeping all healthy plants for himself.”

Tshogpa also collected Nu 20 from each villager who received saplings as transportation charges, according to the villagers. 

Green nets that the chiwog received last year were not distributed to the people. Reportedly, the tshogpa gave green nets and pipes to a villager this year. 

A villager said that they complained about the Tshogpa storing green nets and pipes at his home after which he dropped one of the green nets at the school. Tshogpa is also accused of asking the school’s principal to say that he received it last year. 

Tshogpa is also accused of illegally constructing about 70-metre farm road leading to his land while constructing the Tenpakha farm road.  Dzongkhag slapped a fine of Nu 6,400 for building the road illegally.

Villagers say that the tshogpa used the public budget to construct 70-metre farm road and was fined and let go.

People say that the village will not benefit from such a leader and that the tshogpa should be replaced.

There are about 27 households in Phulingsum Chiwog.

People who came to Thimphu to complain said that they also appealed to dzongkhag administration. “Dzongkhag’s resolution was all based on Tshogpa’s statement.”

“Had the dzongkhag administration been fair in handling the case, we would not have come to Thimphu seeking ACC’s intervention,” a farmer said. 

Punakha dzongkhag administration could not be contacted.

Tshogpa Samdrup said: “The Committee found that I was clean. I stand by their decision.”