According to the dzongkhag’s draft 12th Plan, Thimphu dzongkhag will create 250 jobs in the 12th Plan, of which 137 will be on farms, and set up 44 cottage, small and medium industries.

The activities, proposed to reduce poverty in the dzongkhag, are among the 11 major programmes that the residents of the dzongkhag proposed for the 12th Plan.

A Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) official presented the draft plan to sensitise the people during the meeting for the final report of the 11th Plan on May 18.

Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay at the meeting said that blacktopping of the 23.7km Naro gewog centre road was pushed to the 12th Plan with a proposed budget allocation of Nu 68.73 million.

“While the preparatory works for the Lingzhi dzong construction initially slated for the 11th Plan are underway, the construction will begin in the next plan,” he said.

Thimphu dzongkhag was allocated a revised budget of Nu 668.8 million in the 11th Plan. The dzongkhag has now proposed Nu 1.37 billion in the next plan.

For food and nutrition security, the dzongkhag has plans to reduce fallow land from 196 acres to 156 acres, cultivate 125 acres to organic farming, construct 10 irrigation channels stretching up to 16.6km, and maintain 40 others.

The dzongkhag, as per the draft plan, will build 14 new farm roads running 42.3km.

To improve community health and water security, the dzongkhag will build 23 new rural water supply schemes and repair 67 others.

“The dzongkhag will also work to reduce the incidences of alcohol deaths, suicides, and non-communicable diseases,” the draft plan stated.

The new dzongkhag administration office will be disabled-friendly, and six additional early childcare and development centres will be built.

Fifty percent of the residents in the dzongkhag will switch to biogas, 14.65 percent use solar power, and will begin five climate smart agriculture initiatives.

Street light coverage in urban areas will be increased to 50 percent from the present 15 percent.

The dzongkhag has also proposed that at least 30 percent of women will avail of skills or entrepreneurship training.

Each of the eight gewogs in the dzongkhag will build a helipad that is estimated to Nu 10 million. Under the common minimum infrastructure, dzongkhag will also have a cinema hall.

The draft 12th Plan identified eight flagship programmes, including water security, organic Bhutan, Digital Drukyul, and highland livelihood, among others.

For the highlanders, the plan will support at least five highland enterprises, supply yak and sheep, strengthen health, education and other highland facilities.

The 12th Plan aims for a just, harmonious and sustainable society through enhanced decentralisation.

According to the draft 12th Plan, the total outlay of the Plan, estimated at Nu 336B, is 50 percent more than the 11th Plan, which was worth Nu 223.6B.

Tshering Palden