From Left: Chhungku Dawa, Devi Charan Dhimal, Karma Gelay & Uttar Kumar Rai

4 Thrompon hopefuls from Phuentsholing outline plans

Chhungku Dawa

Chhungku Dawa is the lone 40 year-old-woman candidate representing Phuentsholing Maed constituency. She was the former Thromde Tshogpa of the constituency. She has a degree in Bachelors in Business Administration (BBA) from North Bengal University, India.

She worked in a private company for four years as an assistant manager and after that she served as the Thromde Tshogpa for 3 years.  

She said, “During my tenure as Thuemi I realized that services which was promised to people at the time of election has not been delivered like no proper water supply, sewage problems and other public services.”

What aspires her to contest this time is to represent women and to make the services available as she has better understanding with the issues faced by people at the ground level. “Don’t undermine my capability to carry out a post of Thrompon just because I am a woman. I want to be the change and hopefully it will happen,” she added.

She would prioritize to complete the FYP which were put at halt if she gets elected, she said, adding that she will deliver services to the people which are urgently needed. It will be her duty to listen to people as they are the ones who would choose them and she would do her best and not let the people down, she said.

Devi Charan Dhimal

Devi Charan Dhimal is a 56-year-old and is from Phuentsholing Toed. He has a Bachelor in civil Engineering and he have served as Chief engineer in Phuentsholing Thromde for 15 years and later as project coordinator of ADB funded projects under the Thromde.

He felt that he has the experience, expertise and confidence to further propel the development works in a holistic manner, for balance and overall improvement of services and amenities in the Thromde. He said, “Development of quality infrastructure is the life line for the delivery of quality services and reliable services to the Thromde residents. Thus I decided to contest”

Highlighting his pledges, he said that his pledges would be to facilitate consistent water supply, efficient waste management systems, quality roads and drains, address traffic congestion, access to affordable housing, create business opportunities and other infrastructure development. Any developmental activities and citizen services will be on balanced manner in all six demkhongs, he added.

“If I get elected, I will carry forward to mitigate and address the existing issues. Balance activities of 12FYP are a must to be completed and preparing of 13FYP in close consultation with the public are some of the priorities,” he said.

Karma Gelay

53-year-old Karma Gelay is contesting from Rinchending Demkhong and he graduated as an Architect and did MSc. in Urban Development and Management from the Erasmus University in Holland.

He has 27 years work experience in the government and as a consultant. He also completed a Low Cost and Low income Housing Project for Danida and did a Housing Study for the World Bank.

He said, “Phuentsholing is a commercial hub and its role in the overall national economy and security is paramount and cannot be overemphasized. However, the delivery of infrastructure by all agencies within the Thromde has been slow, inefficient and lacking transparency. It is this overall pace and quality of infrastructure (water, roads, bridges and residential flats) that perplexes and disappoints me most.”

“Funds that have been returned to the Central Government unutilized could have been spent on much needed water and social infrastructure like parks, libraries and sports facilities. And here I stand as a candidate,” he added.

If gets elected, he said that he would bring in better coordination, collaboration and transparency within the Thromde office and would motivate Thromde officials to make systemic changes for better coordination, efficiency and accountability.

Industries have developed and can be encouraged to improve social infrastructure, he said adding that his pledge would be to execute planned activities with maximum efficiency and accountability.

He also pledged to propose and plan development activities not covered within the 5 year plans.

 He said, “Only 922 voters get to elect the Thrompon to lead the Thromde. Voter participation as evidenced from the past two Thromde elections has been far from encouraging.”

Thromde development isn’t just about water supply and roads and this is not a normal government job and certainly not an on the job training, he said, adding that the Thromde should take the lead role planning and developing Phuentsholing into a genuine economic hub that will create a conducive environment for enhanced economic activity that will provide thousands of jobs to youths.

Incumbent Uttar Kumar Rai

39-year-old former Thrompon Uttar Kumar Rai from Neydrang constituency said, “Overall, it has been a great learning experience and challenging at times. Bhutan is no exception to the pandemic and Phuentsholing as the busiest trading town faces the most difficult time today. The town is still undergoing tremendous pressure in terms of supplying essential goods to the entire country.”

Sharing his experience as a Thrompon, he said that he has come to realize his job starts from a minor issue such as waste bin complains to national issues related to government policies.

Bringing the Local Area Plan (LAP) to priority itself was a journey, he said. Traffic congestion, drainage problems, housing crunches, land issues are some of the main highlights of challenges without the LAP.

He said he made some achievements during his tenure of which the biggest achievement was completing the planning of all the 11 LAPs under the Thromde.

He said, “Problems like water shortage, traffic congestion, housing crunch, inaccessibility of motor roads to extended areas, unsafe footpaths and drainage system are all caused by poor planning.”

He said that he is striving for his town and people to bring positive changes in the country’s oldest town through organized and holistic development.

Emphasizing on pledges, he said that simply placing infrastructures as and when they like is not a good town development. A good town development should have clear vision, mission and objectives. All these should be backed up by a good planning and regulations, he added.

 “Should I be re-elected, given the importance of completion of all the LAPs, my immediate priority is to fast track those projects and activities. It will be easier for me to understand the nature of ongoing projects and activities or those in the pipeline,” he said.

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