Villages under the gewog still don’t have a road connection, despite the huge promises made by politicians in 2008
The biggest dream of people in Jarogang and Zawa, the two remote villages in Athang gewog, to have a farm road link remains just that, a dream.
Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) promised a road for the villages in 2008. “So, their repetitive promise to construct it if elected in 2013, rings hollow when they haven’t considered it all after 2008,” a former village Tshogpa from one of the villages said.
Villagers said their appeals to their National Assembly candidate who hardly visited their villages proved futile over the last five years. “Forget about consultations, we hardly get to see their faces,” a villager said.
People in the villages face difficulty during the crop cultivation, marketing, transportation, and education among others. “Poverty can be reduced in the village, only if we have a motor road,” Sherab Wangchuk of Jarogang village said.
DPT’s Athang-Thedtsho candidate Pasang Thrinlee, who once again promised the road during a forum said, “It’s already in the 11th plan and will get through in a couple of months. I shall prioritize it, if elected again.”
The candidates from the other parties have also pledged to start the road construction if elected.
Druk Chirwang Tshogpa’s (DCT) Chador Namgyal said the lack of a road in the gewog implies unbalanced socio-economic development, which has been a major cause of poverty in rural areas. “This has fuelled rural-urban migration because very few people are willing to stay at their villages that is very remote, and offers no opportunity for anything.”
Tandin Wangchuk of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) promised two helicopters if the party is elected to office. He said the helicopters will be used in times of emergency, and also promised to provide Nu 2mn annually to all 205 gewogs directly.
Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s (DNT) Rinchen Namgay said a farm road is one of the basic facilities, which must be provided. He also said the government must refrain from “boasting” about its past achievements if there has been any. “It is the responsibility and duty of the government to serve the people, and there is nothing to boast about,” he said.
He also said the most important thing is to elect a people’s government where power shall not fall in the hands of a few rich people. “It is not about making huge pledges,” he said.
Meanwhile, most villagers are still skeptical about the road construction, despite the party candidates promising it again. Wangchuck, who have served as a choepon (messenger) in one of the villages said he couldn’t believe anyone anymore. He also said, “We are told there is road till the gewog centre, but the gewog center is on the other side of the mountain. The road does not benefit anyone in our village. It is just an office,” he said.