layaps will be connected by a road till Trongshu drak, a three-hour walk from Laya by next year, but the nomad community is not exactly jubilant.
“We would be happy, if the road to connect Laya community would start from Gasa Hot spring (Tsachhu),” said Laya Gup Kinley Dorji adding that it was the people’s common desire to have their road from Gasa Tsachhu area since it will be three to four kilometers shorter and would consume less time.
He added that only one among 180 households voted for the road to be constructed from the Gasa dzong.
But the report from the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS) states that the road will definitely take off from Gasa Dzong terminal point and would tentatively be above the Gasa primary school.
According to the dzongkhag junior engineer, Karma, the road cannot take off from the Gasa Tsachhu since it falls under Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park (JDWNP), and is a water source for the takin (national animal).
“It will hamper the source of Gasa Tsachhu; moreover, it’s a landslide prone area,” he said.
Contrary to the statement from the gup, he added that if the road starts from the Tsachhu point, it will only add kilometers and have more number of curves.
Even the Gasa Dzongrab, Tshewang Jurmi, said that the community’s desire is not feasible with the road needing many cuttings which is risky for travelers as well as road construction workers.
However, the Laya Gup stated that if the road starts off from the point where they have asked it, then proper Gasa would be isolated since the people would not ply through the place and all the talks about disturbing the environment and ecology was just a pretext.
He also said that initially, in the 53rd session of Dzongkhag Yargay Tshogchung (DYT), the officials had been willing to construct the road from the Tsachhu area but now the Dzongkhag authorities fear they won’t get an environmental clearance hence the change in plans.
A road feasibility survey conducted by the works and human settlement ministry was complected in November, 2011.
The environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the road began yesterday.
Actually, February was the final month fixed to start with the EIA as per the work order but the harsh cold climate and heavy snow prevented the commencement of works.
According to mid-term review reports, a budget of Nu 38 mn is already allocated to start with the construction of the 35-kilometer road.