LG: Nichula gewog in Dagana will have three contestants for the gup post in this Local Government (LG) elections. There were only two contestants in 2011.

Former gup Dilip Gurung of Yarpheling chiwog secured 20 “yes” votes out of 21 cast in the chiwog zomdu conducted on August 16.

Nima Wangchuk Sherpa, who contested against Dilip Gurung in the general elections in 2011 and lost, will face Dilip again. During the chiwog zomdu on August 18, he won by two votes against the same candidate who contested against him from Gangtokha chiwog in 2011.

Dilip Gurung said that while much has been done in the last five years, more remains to be done. Farm roads, electric fencings, a gewog office, and a Hindu temple have been built in the gewog.

Going forward, an 8km irrigation channel for the villages of Damchhuna and Damchhugesa, and a bailey bridge for Baranay will have to be constructed. Drinking water supply and more electric fencings will also have to be constructed.

Dilip Gurung said that his chiwog, Yarpheling, will also get electricity and a suspension bridge in the next Plan. He said that a motorable bridge over the Sunkosh river is an urgent need.

Nima Wangchuk Sherpa, 36, who has worked as a tour guide for the past decade is contesting to serve the people and make the gewog a “better place”.

Nima Wangchuk Sherpa will prioritise the construction of a motorable road over the Sunkosh river. He attributed the gewog’s slow development to lack of connectivity and irrigation channels. “These factors discourage farmers from cultivating cash crops,” he said.

Nima Wangchuk Sherpa will focus on farm roads, drinking water supply, and agriculture besides also youth employment, curbing corruption, and preserving culture and tradition, if elected. He said he would also focus on sports and entertainment.

Shabir Subba, 28, is the new face in the race. The business graduate has been living in his village after graduating from Darjeeling, India in 2013. Shabir Subba is from Dangrebu chiwog.

During the zomdu on August 17, he got 56 “yes” votes out of 67 cast.

“I am contesting for the gup post because I believe there is huge scope for development in Nichula,” he said.

While there has been development in many areas, Shabir Subba said that it has to be channelised properly. He said road connectivity did not match with the budget provided.

“Compared to the other two gewogs under Lhamoizingkha dungkhag, Nichula has seen the least development and I want to change this,” Shabir Subba said.

Even if a gup cannot promise everything, Shabir Subba said a gup can act as a bridge between the public at the grassroots level and the government. Like his fellow contestants, a motorable bridge will remain his primary focus if elected, he said.

Rajesh Rai, Phuentsholing