The mill remains an eyesore to the farmers

The white elephant in Dungkarling

For the past eight years, an electric rice mill in Dungkarling has remained idle for want of spare parts and it is falling apart, farmers of Dungkarling chiwog in Samdrupjongkhar said. 

Farmers said that the government supplied the mill in 2010 as the residents of Dungkarling in Phuntshothang gewog in Samdrupcholing drungkhag depend on paddy and have the huge rice production. But they could not avail of the benefit of the mill even today. 

A resident of Dungkarling, Gembo said, “We’re informed that the inner fan belt was damaged and they were going to replace it soon but we didn’t understand why the concerned authorities could not replaced it until now.”

Another resident Lhundup Gyeltshen said farmers contributed two logs and Nu 200 each to construct the shed for the mill. The shed has become dilapidated today. 

“It is sad that we could not use the mill until now and it’s just a wastage of the government’s budget,” he said. 

The villagers had planned to form a group to manage the mill and make some income, which could be later used to maintain it. 

“We now take our paddy to the private mill paying Nu 6 to Nu 8 per tin of paddy.” 

Farmers said they have reported to the gewog administration and gewog agriculture extension officer to supply electricity to the mill. 

Samdrup said that they also raised the issue during the meeting with dzongkhag officials conducted in July this year. “We have asked the concerned authorities to take back the mill because it is of no use but they told us that they will give the power supply soon. They did nothing until now,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Rohit Kumar who has a mill in the village is busy making good income. He earns about Nu 9,000 a month during the off-season and about Nu 15,000 and Nu 20,000 a month during the season.

However, Phuntshothang gup, Jamyang Gyeltshen, said the mill was provided in the 2015-2016 fiscal year through gewog development grant (GDG). 

“If they need it, we’ll fix the mill through GDG in the 12th plan,” gup said. 

Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

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