The Fire Female Bird Year returned Trashigang’s lost wing with the resumption of the domestic airport at Yonphula in Kanglung gewog on November 11 last year.

Four years after the airport was closed for renovation and improvement of safety measures in line with the international standard, the airport today connects the eastern part of the country to the international airport in Paro.

However, despite potential to ease transportation the airport brought in, series of cancellation and grounding of the ATR left many commuters irked.

Another highlight in the dzongkhag was the establishment of the Yonphula Centenary College. A total of 32 teachers are pursuing Master’s in English programme.

The government’s pledge to establish three new colleges in the east materialised in Trashiyangtse. College of Rigney was established at the Institute of Zorig Chusum.

Given the limited space and difficult terrain for expansion, Trashigang underwent series of structural developmental activities in the year of the bird. The ongoing work on the construction of a bypass road through the centre of the town along with parking space underneath it is nearing completion.

The year of the bird also brought the dzongkhag its first recreational facility, a children’s park. An open-air gym that remains occupied throughout the week was also added as a recreational spot.

Save gewog centre (GC) roads in Merak and Sakteng, blacktopping work on the remaining 13 gewogs were completed last year. In Trashiyangtse, of the eight gewog, blacktopping of three gewogs in Tongzhang, Yalang and Bumdeling remains to be completed.

Along with numerous developmental activities that took place last year, the dzongkhag grappled with issues such as high number of empty households (goongtong), human-wildlife conflict, drinking water shortage, and high rate of fallowing land.

The people of Merak and Sakteng also came into the limelight with series of visits from high-level officials, including His Majesty The King. The attention, however, was not only restricted to high level visits, as residents of Merak filed in a series of accusation against the local leaders of the gewog.

Because of delay, residents requested private contractors to take over the construction of Sakteng GC road. Food supplies to the gewog were also interrupted because of frequent roadblocks along the stretch.

The issue of fake trulku became one of the highlights last year when Trashigang’s dzongkhag tshogdu decided to forward a case involving Drukyul Karzay Tshethar Tshogpa to the home ministry to authenticate the legitimacy of two individuals who claimed to be reincarnate spiritual leaders.

In Trashiyangtse, the biggest event last year was the visit of His Majesty The King during the Traditional Day of Offering.

Kholongchhu project made headlines as residents filed series of complaints against the project during dzongkhag tshogdu. The limited housing facilities fuelled by mounting house rents were attributed to the project.

The project was also accused of causing damage to the local structures because of blasting.

Younten Tshedup | Trashigang