Phurpa Lhamo | Gasa

Every year over 300 horses, led by Lunaps journey from Sephu in Wangdue to Lunana in Gasa. The horses and the people make at least four trips to transport food stocks ahead of the hard and long winter.

The journey takes at least six days. Very soon, however, all this is likely to change. Because road is coming to this out-of-the-way part of the country’s far north. The construction of 15.6km road from Lubzur in Sephu to Gyentsha in Lunana could reduce the journey time of the Lunaps by at least a day.

Lunana Gup Kaka said that the journey was perilous for the people and their pack animals. Had it not been for the time taken in procuring the clearance, the road construction project, which began on November 6 could have come by much earlier.

Lunana Gewog’s Nu 7 million (M) project is expected to be completed by June 2021. Gasa’s engineering department, in fact, is already looking at completing the work before June next year.

Lunaps in summer move to the warmer south-Punakha and Wangdue to bring goods home. Of late, helicopter service has made travel a lot easier.

“But helicopter service is expensive. The people take the service during emergencies or when we have some things that must be transported to Lunana safely. From Zomlingthang in Punakha, availing helicopter service for four trips to Lunana cost around Nu 55,000. If the service is availed from Paro, one-way trip spikes to Nu 66,000,” said Dawa Gyeltshen from Lunana.

Another plan is underway to pave an 8km road from Ramina village near Punakha. This will decrease the travel time by another day. The project is expected to begin next year.

Gup Kaka said that the road from Ramina until Jazeyphu would benefit around 35 percent of Lunana’s population.

Lunana has 185 households with over 800 residents.

Dzongdags of Gasa and Wangdue, local leaders and people of Sephu witnessed the inauguration of Sephu-Lunana road on November 6.