Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

Lingmethang town has seen a boom in residents in recent years as it grew into an industrial town mounting pressure on the middle secondary school.

A businessman, Rinchen, said the population in the town is growing every year and the school needs to be upgraded.

In less than a decade, the town has seen the setting up of Bhutan Agro’s subsidiary office, Mountain Hazelnut Venture office, aside from the regional offices of poultry and piggery breeding centre, Department of Roads, Construction Development Corporation Limited, the gewog office and the primary health centre.

The town will also host Gyalsung Infra Project which will have more than 1,500 trainees and more than 300 trainers and their families contributing to a population of more than 500 people.

The issue was also discussed repeatedly in the past sessions of the Dzongkhag Tshogdu. The latest deliberation was in March 2021 when the DT decided that the dzongkhag administration would coordinate and follow up with the DoR and CDCL regarding the land acquisition for the expansion of the school.

So far residents said nothing has happened.

However, Saling Gup Sonam, said the gewog is planning to submit the issue as an agenda in the upcoming DT after it was not included in the recent DT because there were many other important issues.

“I’ve been discussing closely with the sector heads and the DT Thrizin to follow up at the earliest possible,” the gup said.

He said the school needs more facilities and infrastructure urgently. “Starting a boarding facility would benefit students from Broksar, Resa, Kalapang, Sengor under Saling gewog and Tsamang gewog.”

Students from those schools are sent to Kilikhar and Mongar High Schools.

Saling gup said that the area adjoining the school belongs to CDCL, and DoR has mostly stores and labour camps without permanent structures. ”It’s feasible to acquire the excess land.”

Located below Lingmethang-Bumthang highway, the school occupies 8.91 acres. It has 415 students and 34 teachers. Currently, students from classes PP to 10 are studying in two 8-unit and 4-unit classrooms, and 6-unit temporary classrooms.

The school does not have a multipurpose hall or basketball court and students are provided day lunch in a makeshift tent.

Upgraded to a middle secondary school last year, the school has two class 9 sections and one class 10 section.

Sources said the school will run out of classrooms if there are any more students joining class 10.

Residents said some students travel to the school in neighbouring Gyalpoizhing paying a monthly taxi fare of about Nu 3,000.

Lingmethang town has around 2,000 residents. The town also has a shortage of housing.