Lhakpa Quendren

Gelephu—In recent times, the discussions in Gelephu have shifted towards the Mindfulness City Project, surpassing the prominence of political discourse.

Many voters, not anticipating explicit political commitments, assert that the development of their village is intricately linked with the city project.

Despite the modest turnout of 20 attendees in the last common forum for the Gelephu constituency held in Gelephu Thromde, voters keenly listened to their candidates.

The prevailing belief among voters is that, regardless of the governing party, commitments made for Gelephu will be prioritized due to the impending larger project.

For the people of Gelephu, their village holds significance not only as a local asset but also as a contribution to the broader world. Emerging from the shadows of local history, Gelephu residents are now passionately envisioning a future marked by prosperity.

While a significant portion of voters has sensed the imminent societal change, some remain unaware of key economic transformations, leaving others to navigate their paths independently.

Political commitments from both Bhutan Tendren Party (BTP) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidates for Gelephu have been unveiled, with promises to expedite all pledges if they come to power.

Common forum for Gelephu constituency ended on January 2 in Gelephu thromde

BTP’s Karma Rinchen pledged to raise vegetable farming in Gelephu from mini self-consumption to mega commercial farming. “For instance, if you own a 5-acre land, you should consider cultivating vegetables on the entire plot. You don’t have to worry about the marketing, as we will facilitate and link it.”

“Everyone keeps an eye on Gelephu, and our residents should not miss the opportunities coming their way,” he said, adding that more people will be coming to Gelephu, and more opportunities will emerge.

Karma Rinchen also pledged for additional drinking water supply for Gelephu thromde and irrigation canals equipped with the latest technology. “With the bigger plans coming to Gelephu, we must upgrade the existing infrastructure and facilities.”

To enhance the skills of young people, including school-going children, he promised to provide a free national skills programme covering graphic and web design, digital marketing, as well as bakery, and cooking. “We will facilitate internship programmes for youths and graduates to gain experience.”

To support farmers with loans without mortgages for commercial farming, such as vegetables, piggery, poultry, and livestock, as well as to support differently-abled people, energy and connectivity development are among his pledges. Others include doing away with double taxation in urban areas, and establishing a rehabilitation center, and a Hindu crematory ground.

PDP’s Harka Singh Tamang pledged to revolutionize Gelephu into a tourism hotspot to boost the economy. “We have to make the necessary changes in policies, rules, and regulations to make it accessible for tourists.”

He pledged to establish a Mother and Child Hospital, youth rehabilitation center, crematory facility, cattle feed processing factory, oil extraction unit, and a center for the elderly in Gelephu.

“We will also develop Gelephu town sustainably by incorporating modern amenities without compromising our architectural design.” Also, he pledged to connect Sarpang with Lhamoidzingkha in Dagana and Gelephu with Panbang in Zhemgang.

Harka Singh Tamang said that hydropower project construction, infrastructure development, including blacktopping the roads, and the construction of irrigation canals, including the central school and the feeding programme, will be prioritized.

“We will raise the salary and allowances for civil servants and regularize contract employees so that they will be entitled to other benefits such as training and provident fund,” he said.

“Thousands of young and productive people leaving abroad are everyone’s concern,” he said. “We will train and skill our youths to make them employable, creating more employment opportunities.”