P’ling lagging behind in crime, drug abuse reduction

MTR: Crime, drug abuse, and infant mortality are the three major performance indicators at risk in Phuentsholing thromde it was revealed at its Mid-Term Review (MTR) on May 11.

The thromde presented that it had set a target to reduce crime incidences to 10. However, 109 such incidences were reported.

The thromde pointed out that the number of incidences has been increasing annually.

As Phuentsholing shares a porous border with the neighbouring Indian town of Jaigaon, crimes incidences are bound to happen, it was pointed out.

Between 2015 and early 2016 three murders had occurred with the suspects still at large.

Another major challenge the thromde faces because of the porous border is the increasing number of drug abuse incidences which also has been rising annually.

Currently, 95 incidences of drug abuse have been recorded. Phuentsholing thromde had targeted reducing the number of drug abuse incidences to five. However, it was pointed out that the thromde does not have a direct role to play in this matter.

Phuentsholing thromde also pointed out that incidences of crimes and drug abuse would be dropped as indicators. It will be placed under a different but more relevant indicator related to the installation of CCTVs.

However, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay who observed the MTR said that the thromde must still consider reduction of crime as a responsibility. “Work and collaborate with the police and all other relevant agencies to decrease such incidences,” Lyonchoen said.

When it come to the infant mortality incidences, the numbers have alarmingly increased, the MTR revealed. Infant mortality numbers recorded have increased to 22 in 2015 from 18 in 2014 and 15 in 2013.

The thromde also mentioned that this indicator is not relevant and underlined that maintaining data was difficult, as the thromde has no health focal person.

The infant mortality numbers, however, are not all within the thromde area. Referrals from other places are also recorded without any segregation.

The Phuentsholing hospital does not keep a separate record at the thromde level since their service caters to a floating population, it was pointed out.

Another indicator, which the thromde has revealed is at risk, is the learning outcome scores for class III students in Mathematics, English, Dzongkha, and Environmental Science. The targets were set above 90 percent but the students were able to score only below 70 percent.

The thromde will consult with the education ministry to conduct a detailed study on the issue.

The thromde’s review also showed that 23 out of 39 targets have been achieved in the current Plan period from July 2013 to June 2015. Currently, 12 targets indicators are currently on track.

Transportation, waste generation, cleanliness, education, and public service delivery are the major indicators that have been achieved. The Phuentsholing thromde also generated a revenue of Nu 113.76 million (M), which is higher than its target.

Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay also spoke about the country’s improved economic scenario at the MTR meeting. “You must take opportunities to plan and work accordingly,” he said.

Lyonchoen stressed that corruption must be avoided. It will never benefit the people and the country, he added.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

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