With the gewog depending on gewog development grants (GDG) to finance the construction, the farm road construction to Gong village in Jigmecholing gewog, Sarpang, is going at a slow pace.

Annually, a GDG of Nu 2 million (M) is diverted towards constructing the road.

The gewog has spent Nu 6M to construct a 27km stretch of the total 46km farm road till now.

Jigmechholing gup Kumar Gurung said that the project has been delayed mainly because of lack of budget. “If we had the budget like other farm roads, it would have been long completed,” he said. “We’ve to depend on the GDG.”

The farm road will cover the remote three chiwogs of Gongsekha, Gonduegang and Tshetenkhar (Sukumbasi). As of now, these villages are two days walk from the gewog centre and four days walk from the dzongkhag centre.

Gup Kumar Gurung also said that there is a need for a bridge over the Roong river, flowing at the base of Jigmechholing. “Without the construction of a bridge there, the farm road would be useless during monsoon as vehicles will not be able to cross the swollen river.”

He said that requirement of about a 50-meter long bailey bridge has been included in the 12th Plan. “The bridge is a priority.”

Gong farm road construction has a long history. The construction began as early as 2008. Lack of budget stalled it for almost eight years until the project was initiated again in 2015.

Gong is one of the remotest chiwogs in Sarpang and basic services like electricity, school and health facilities reached late.

Completion of the on-going farm road construction is expected to open market for farm produce such as cardamom, ginger, vegetables and mandarin. As of now, farmers carry their farm produce on their back for two days to reach a nearest market.

Meanwhile, the farm road will benefit more than 350 households of the three chiwog.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang