The groundbreaking ceremony done, a long awaited farm road will soon benefit 75 households

Ganglapong: With the groundbreaking ceremony of 19km Ganglapong farm road in Tsamang gewog, Mongar held on June 22, the farm road is expected to benefit 75 households.

The overall cost of the farm road is estimated at Nu 12M (million) under the Small Development Project II as per part of the gewog plan for 2014-2015.

Tsamang gewog mangmi Sonam Dargay said the farm road was to be built since the 10th Plan period.  However, it had to be shifted to the 11th Plan, owing to the proximity of the distance.

With just Nu 12M allocated, villagers of two chiwogs in Tsamang expressed concerns on whether the budget would be enough for the overall construction of the farm road.  Villagers said they were worried that the budget could exhaust when the construction reaches half way through.

Mangmi Sonam Dargay also said that the budget allocated for the farm road might not be enough, but said the gewog administration would propose for additional budget by any means. “The farm road construction wouldn’t be left incomplete,” he said. Mongar dzongdag Sherab Tenzin said that none of the farm roads in the dzongkhag were left incomplete. “We’ll look for additional budget depending on the work progress,” he said.

The dzongkhag agriculture officer Khampa said as people of Tsamang were fully dependent on agriculture, the construction of farm road would enormously benefit them through access to market.

Dzongdag Sherab Tenzin told villagers to grow a variety of crops and fruits besides maize, as they would now be connected with a farm road.

Farmer Ugyen Wangdi, 50, said once they were connected with the farm road, they would no longer have to travel by foot for days to reach the nearest market. “At present, we have to walk for a day even for a kilogram of salt,” he said excited of the new project.  The nearest market for people of Tsamang is in Autshog of Tshenkhar gewog, Lhuentse.

Another farmer Dechen Dorji, 52, said that, as their village didn’t have road access, they were not able to sell their agriculture produce and depended mainly on maize cultivation. “Since last year, after we heard of the farm road construction, many farmers started to grow mandarin and cardamom,” he said. “We’ll also grow a variety of vegetables that would serve as an alternate source of income for villagers.”

The construction of the farm road is expected to take about 15 months and the tender was awarded to Dekiling Builders pvt ltd.

By Tashi Phuntsho, Mongar