Kanglung and Wamrong were the other two contenders that met the required criteria

Township: Following lengthy deliberations, Trashigang dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) resolved that Rangjung would be their yenlag thromde (satellite town) in the dzongkhag.

The decision comes after the ministry of works and human settlement required each dzongkhag to have only one yenlag thromde.  Kanglung and Wamrong were the other two potential towns that fulfilled the criteria.

According to the thromde tules, 2011, a yenlag thromde should have a resident population of 1500.  At least 50 percent of the population should be dependent on non-primary activities, and the area of the town shouldn’t be less than 50 acres.

Though members shared different opinions, it was finally decided through a raise of hands, whereby Rangjung garnered more support than the other two towns.

Lobbying for Wamrong, Lumang gup, Tandin Wangchuk, said that Kanglung and Rangjung were closer to the dzongkhag administration and would see development activities anyhow.

“Wamrong falls along the national highway and sees a lot of travellers. The population is also ideal and the landscape good enough for any infrastructural development,” he said.

Trashigang dzongdag, Lungten Dorji, said that Wamrong and Rangjung were already availing the basic amenities of a town, while Kanglung was not.

“Moreover, should Trashigang become a class ‘A’ thromde, Rangjung is bound to become a part of the town. Looking at these factors, I feel that Kanglung, given its potential, should be provided with the opportunity,” he said.

Kanglung gup, Kinzang Dorji, said that, unlike Wamrong town that sees a lot of travellers, Kanglung has a resident population of about 11,000.  The gewog also issued around 1,600 new lagthrams recently.

“Apart from the schools, a college and project DANTAK community, there are other government offices and about 64 shops in the town. Yet, we don’t enjoy the basic amenities of a town, ” he said. “Kanglung is ideal to function as a yenlag thromde.”

Samkhar gup, Sonam Dorji, however, shared concerns that the conversion into a yenlag thromde might have to come at the cost of losing a gewog.

“For instance, a gewog is supposed to have five chiwogs and Kanglung has exactly five. Losing a single chiwog would disqualify Kanglung as a gewog,” he said.

Supporting Rangjung, Phongmey gup, Palden Dorji, argued that Kanglung and Wamrong were already as good as any town.

“Rangjung was identified as a potential satellite town for so long, some infrastructural development and local area plans (LAP) are already complete,” he said. “Rangjung is also a hub for people of eight gewogs.”

Radhi gup, Jigmi Namgyal, said that there was no certainty of Rangjung coming under Trashigang thromde.  A lot of people that migrated from the neighbouring gewogs, he said, could be because Rangjung never became a yenlag thromde.

“Though facilities are being provided, services are only deteriorating. People of the gewogs need a place like Rangjung where they can market their products,” he said.

Few members also added that if Rangjung is supposed to become a class ‘A’ thromde, then there was no need to declare it as a yenlag thromde.

On the other hand, if Rangjung is neither declared as a yenlag thromde nor does it come under Trashigang thromde, all works carried out so far would be a waste.

By Tshering Wangdi,  Trashigang