Health: After waiting for three years for the Basic Health Unit’s (BHU) construction to be completed, people in Sengor, Mongar have started availing medical check up and medicine from the incomplete BHU from last month.

Had the construction completed, the grade II BHU would have benefitted Sengor’s 21 households and civil servants.  Sengor is 95km from Mongar district.

“We don’t know who’s looking after the construction after the contractor was terminated,” tshogpa Kelzang Penjor said.

One villager said that it had been three months since the contactor was terminated, but there has been no re-tender announcement.  The dzongkhag is currently looking after the work.

Dzongkhag health officer (DHO), Tshering Dorji, said the dzongkhag committee terminated the contractor, after he failed to complete the construction despite giving him an extension.

“The work was for 2012-13 but even after an extension, the contractor didn’t complete the work,” he said. “Following an investigation, the committee decided to terminate the contractor in November.”

According to the DHO, besides the delay in budget release, the cold winter from November to March, during which cement work was not possible, and the rainy summer, had affected the work’s progress.  A budget of Nu 20M has been allocated for the BHU’s construction.

Currently, the site engineer is working out the expenditure, and the penalty that will be imposed on the contractor for the delay, and as soon as the budget is released, the dzongkhag will re-tender the work.

According to the Saling gup, Sonam Yeshi, the BHU, although incomplete, is already helping people get treated at home for minor ailments.  One of the farmers, Pema Choezom, said they used to visit Lingmethang BHU for headaches or cuts, and it took them a whole day.

But today, they can access health services sooner, which leaves them with enough time for household chores.

“An incomplete BHU is still better than having no health care facility at all,” another villager, Choki Wangmo said.

By Tashi Phuntsho, Sengor