LG: If elected as the new gup of Lingmukha gewog in Punakha, transparency, equal development for all the chiwogs and better government-to-people communication will be some of the key areas where Tshedu, a former tshogpa, will focus on.

The pledges were also shared with the people of Goomkarmo chiwog during the final common forum for Lingmukha gewog yesterday.

Having served as the tshogpa for Umtoedkha chiwog for almost 10 years, Tshedu decided to contest for the post of the gup after receiving several grievances from the people on the lack of transparency in the usage of the gewog budget.

“I’m not saying that the former gup misused the budget but on hearsay, I heard many people were confused in terms of the utilisation of the gewog budget,” said Tshedu.

If elected as the gup, the 46-year-old said that everyone in the gewog would know where and how the government budget is used. “The money is for the gewog and it should and will be used for the gweog and its people,” he said, adding that all the chiwogs need to get equal share of all the developmental activities.

Another area where the 46-year-old would contribute as the gup is in forming a separate budget for maintenance of the water source. Located  some 15km from Goomkarmo chiwog, the water source needs proper channelling and consistency in the supply, said Tshedu.

He said that currently, some 46 households in the chiwog contribute a total of Nu 11,000 every month for the maintenance of the water source. “I want to stop this collection from households and form a separate budget for the maintenance of the water source,” said Tshedu. “There are many who have bought land in these areas and we have come to an agreement that they will help donate for the maintenance of the water source.”

Contesting against Tshedu is the former gup from Nabchhed chiwog, Sonam Tobgay. The 32-year-old is re-contesting for a second term, as he believes his work is only “half-done”.

“I’ve gained so much experience in the last five years that it will be unwise if I don’t put it in for the benefit of the people of my gewog,” said Sonam Tobgay.

To reduce the pressure on the water supply, the former gup plans to build two more water tanks in the chiwog, taking the total number of water tanks to three for Goomkarmo chiwog. “If elected, works on the water tank will begin from November because water is the most urgent issue that needs to be addressed in this chiwog.”

With the three water tanks in place, Sonam Tobgay said that all the 46 households will benefit.

Improving farm roads, setting up of a gup’s office at the chiwog and delivering faster and better services to the people are also some of the areas Sonam Tobgay will be focussing on if elected.

Of the five chiwogs in Lingmukha gewog, Goomkarmo has the highest population of 252. “Since it is also one of the furthest chiwogs, setting up an office here will allow me to visit the chiwog and meet the people at least once a week,” he said.

The third candidate contesting for the post of the gup is Yangka. The 33-year-old from Dompola chiwog said that taking part in the elections provided him with an opportunity to  serve the country and its people.

His first attempt for the post for mangmi  in 2011 was unsuccessful. “The government has spent a lot on me while I was a monk,” he said.  “The knowledge I gained during my 15 years in the monastic body will be wasted if I don’t use it for the benefit of the people.”

There are three candidates contesting for the post of gup and four for mangmi. Two candidates are vying for the post of tshogpa from Goomkarmo chiwog.

Younten Tshedup |   Punakha

Supported by Bhutan Media Foundation and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation