Wangdue and Punakha on plan track

The Mid Term Review (MTR) for the 11th Five Year Plan (FYP) was conducted in Punakha and Wangdue, and it was found that the two dzongkhags have achieved half of its development goals for the 11th plan.

The review meeting also discussed the issues faced in the dzongkhags, such as additions and deletion of some activities from the plan, along with the recommendations by the government.

Punakha was allocated Nu.806.683M to implement the 11th FYP, which includes Nu 44mn for Gewog Development Grant (GDG) and Nu 50.488mn for deposit works. In almost two years, Punakha has received Nu 307mn, out of which Nu 239mn was utilized.

The dzongkhag has achieved 16 goals in less than two years. There are 32 activities are on track and 4 activities are at risk of achieving its target. The plan was implemented in October 2013.

Punakha Dzongdag, Karma Drukpa, while presenting the overall report, talked about major achievements, like the construction of a Basic Health Unit (BHU) at Thinleygang, Toebisa gewog, maintenance of three BHUs in Kabjisa, Shengana and Tshochasa, and renovation of 1 Out-Reach

centre (ORC).

He said, “Out of 12 targeted Rural Water Supply Schemes (RWSS), we could achieve 5 so far and 42 RWSS is already renovated out of 105, and also 26 water source have been protected out of 41 sources.” The district has also constructed one irrigation scheme and maintained 39 irrigation channels and the target is to maintain 72 by the end of the 11th FYP.

On achievements made in the education sector, he said, within two years, the district has developed 6 primary schools, 2 lower secondary schools, and met the full target of opening 4 middle secondary schools and 2 higher secondary schools.

As per plans to construct 28.2km of farm roads, the dzongkhag was able to construct 21.2km, which includes three farm roads in Toewang, Baarp and Talo against the target to construct eight farm roads. 10 farm roads were maintained against the target of 52. In regard to religious infrastructure works, the Punakha Dzongda reported that 9 religious infrastructure have been constructed against the target of 26. The dzongkhag has renovated 28 structures with the target to renovate 50 by the end of plan.

With the target to maintain 21 civil infrastructures, they have maintained 7, which

includes the maintenance of palaces, gewog offices and meeting halls. 6 out of 12 civil infrastructures have been constructed, which includes riverbank protection, drinking water supply, retaining walls and public toilets.

Dzongda Karma Drukpa also said two motor-able bridges are constructed. He added that GDG has been implemented in 149 projects in 11 gewogs.

Despite much effort and progress, Punakha faces issues with the potato production as the dzongkhag fell below the target of producing 525 metric tons (MT) per year, whereas they could only produce 118MT in 2014. Other issues are incidences of infant mortality, with three reported infant deaths against one death as per target, and enrolment in the Non-Formal Education (NFE) program where only 101 NFE learners were enrolled against the target of 500 learners.

The Dzongdag urged to government to consider the proposal to incorporate the new 16 activities and drop the previous 15 activities, whereby Lyonchhen said he would discuss the matter during his visit to the gewogs.

The Punakha Dzongdag also proposed on introducing a minimum price support system to support farmers compete in the market, as the cost of agriculture and

livestock produce is very high. In response, Lyonchhen said, “Setting a minimum price may not help to compete in the market.”

PM said that instead to make production cheaper, the government will support farm mechanization through supply of various farm machineries, and that the government will take measures to reduce loss of crops to wildlife. “Government will supply high quality seeds and help form farmers’ groups and cooperatives to reduce transportation cost of agriculture products and also explore market,” Lyonchhen said.

Wangdue

Wangdue was allocated with a budget of Nu 1047.147mn for the 11th FYP, and till now the dzongkhag has received Nu 222.78mn, out of which Nu 206.755mn was utilized.

The dzongkhag has achieved 16 out of 38 targets so far. There are 20 activities on track and 2 are at risk. During the presentation made by Wangdue Dzongda, Sonam Jigme, he informed the meeting that the dzongkhag has renovated six BHUs against the target to renovate only five. The target for farm road construction was set at 30km where they have constructed 58.12km in 21 different areas.

The dzongkhag has also made over achievements, like

20 bio-gas plants constructed against the target to construct only 15 bio-gas plants. 7 bridges have been constructed in less than two years’ time.

“We have renovated 27 religious infrastructures, maintained 80kms of farm roads, renovated 32 RWSS, protected 42 water sources, renovated 52 irrigation channels, and renovated all 41 schools infrastructure,” Dzongda Sonam Jigme said.

8 RWSS have been constructed so far against the target to construct 28 RWSS in Wangdue. In terms of incidence of Under 5 Mortality and Infant Mortality, 5 deaths were reported against the zero target aim. On which, the Health Minister, Tandin Wangchuk, directed the dzongkhag to conduct the assessment and report it to the Prime Minister.

The Dzongdag also raised some issues on the restriction made on the construction of new religious infrastructure. He asked for recommendations by the government and instructions on whether the planned construction activities are to be dropped or government can unfreeze the ban. In response, Lyonchhen asked the dzongkhag and Ministery of Home and Cultural Affairs to discuss the matter and submit a proposal to the Office of the Prime Minister.

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