Proposals to connect the remote village with a road since 2012 has not yet come through 

Road: About three years ago, when the Mikuri-Tsebar-Durungri feeder road that connected Nganglam dungkhag with Pemagatshel, came through, it benefitted Dungmin gewog’s four chiwogs.

However, its chiwog Wongborang, which is about five hours walk from the gewog centre could not reap the same benefits.

Since then, villagers have been requesting for a road connectivity citing that the traditional cane production (tsazo) is decreasing because of the village’s poor access to market. Most villagers have lost interest in tsazo as they have to carry products and walk to Pemagatshel to sell.

Apart from tsazo, Wongborang is also known for potato production, which farmers have to carry to sell in Nganglam. But given the challenges, many grow potatoes only for self-consumption.

“We also have good chilli production but it gets wasted since we don’t have a market,” Tshogpa Tashi Dorji said. “If we’ve a road, our village would improve just as the other chiwogs did after they were connected to a road.”

A proposal to build a road for the chiwog was also not included in the 10th Plan since gewog connectivity road wad also dropped from the Plan, gup Ugyen Tshering said. It was not included in the 11th Plan for want of budget.

He said villagers have been raising the same issue in all meetings and often blame the gewog administration for failing to connect the community with a road.

A proposal to build the 24 km road was made in the 11th Plan, but the distance called for a huge budget and could not be built with the Nu 20 million budget that was allocated.

“With the compact signed, we have to spend more on agriculture, forest and livestock,” the gup said. “Since Dungmin is one of the most remote and poorest gewogs, there were also  many developmental activities to carry out.” Dungmin is 55km from Pemagatshel.

Their proposal to the dzongkhag administration got them Nu 18 million but only six km was approved under the small development project.

“We hope that after they construct the first six kilometers, the dzongkhag would allocate budget to continue the construction,” he said.

By Yangchen C Rinzin, Pemagatshel