The dzongkhag will carry out a study to determine if security check posts are required in the gewog

Security: The people of Samrang in Samdrupcholing dungkhag are still hopeful that security check posts will be established in their gewog.

The issue was raised with the Prime Minister and home minister during their visit to the gewog last year, according to the gup, Man Bahadhur Gurung.

However, he said the people are still awaiting for a response.

The Prime Minister had directed the dzongkhag to look into the matter and submit a detailed report.

The issue was raised again during the dzongkhag’s tshogdu last month.

With an increasing population, it has become necessary to have police, customs and immigration check posts, the gup said.

Samrang shares an open border with the Indian town of Samrang in Assam.

The gup added that with a small population, security check posts were not needed before. But with the construction of the National Integrated Livestock farm going on, the population has been increasing every year, he said.

The gup pointed out that frequent movements of people and vehicles have been taking place and the gewog administration is under staffed to monitor this traffic.

Samrang gewog used to be part of Pemathang gewog until 2011. The gewog remained mostly forested and barely populated for decades following security issues.

The gup said villagers have started returning to their villages after it was demarcated as a separate gewog and the number of settlements are increasing. The gewog has increased to about 30 households from 19 households, and today has a population of around 700, including those working at the livestock farm.

While there are no major security threats because of the open border, prevention is better than cure, the gup said.

He added that having a police check post in the area would increase security and make residents of the gewog feel safer. The nearest police station is in Samdrupcholing dungkhag which is 24km away from the gewog.

“We’ve been raising this issue time and again,” he said. “We’re not sure if there are any plans for the future or which concerned authority is responsible.”

He pointed out that there are around three acres of land that was once used by the police before the security issues occurred.

Meanwhile, in response to the gup, a police official said that while security is important,  based on the population and lack of infrastructure, it would not be feasible to have a separate police check post currently. However, the official did not rule out one in the future.

An immigration official said the office already faces a lack of human resources and infrastructure and it would not be easy to establish a check post. However, the official said that the department would follow the government’s directives.

However, Dzongdag Tharchen Lhendup said the dzongkhag administration along with relevant agencies will soon study if there is a need to establish the check posts and the feasibility of such a move. If it is found that the needs are genuine, a report will be submitted to the government as soon as possible.

Yangchen C Rinzin | Samdrupjongkhar