The members of eight households of Phosorong chiwog in Mongar gewog can collect dry leaves, firewood and allow their cattle to graze in the water catchment area.

This was decided after the gup, former tshogpa, forest officials and two villagers met on August 10 to discuss the issue of private and state land fenced to conserve the water catchment area in the locality in 2016.

The household members appealed to the regional forest office and Mongar gewog administration to either remove the fencing or provide them with a land substitute.

It was also decided in the meeting that the fencing along the border areas of private land would be removed and relocated 50ms towards the water catchment area.

It was learnt that two household members, whose land located inside the catchment area, would be provided with land substitute after obtaining no objection letter from the villagers.

A landowner, Sonam Zangmo, 40, said she is finally relieved to learn that the fences of her land would be removed. “I can use my land meaningfully.”

Another landowner, Jigme Choden, 40, said villagers of Redaza and Barpang gave no objection letter for her to obtain land substitution. Her two acres of her land falls inside the water catchment area.

Monger Gup Tenzin Wangchuk said the problem was resolved after the two village representatives consented with their proposals. “The gewog will assist in processing for the land substitute.”

Tashi Phuntsho | Mongar