Bridge sees renovation but misplaced funds still not publicized

Renovation works on the Debsi Bridge is underway

The Rickety Debsi Bridge in Chang gewog in Thimphu is finally under renovation, and this time round funded from the gewog Budget.

The budget allotted for the renewal of the bridge is above Nu 0.2mn.

However, people have not forgotten the sour odyssey with the previous budget that was collected from the Debsi community in 2007, the accounts of which is still not made public. The issue was raised in media and also put-up to authorities.

On that the Gup said the notification was sent to the former Gup regarding the accountability and transparency of the public budget collected during his tenure. “But he didn’t turn up even after sending him notification for two times,” said Gup Ugyen.

“Gewog had decided to send one last notification to him again,” he said. If he fails to come and clear all the accounts they would present it to Thimphu Dzongkhag.

Gewog Tshogpas said this kind of allegations will not arise in the community hereafter since people of Chang gewog would gather in the Gewog Office on 18 July to discuss the 11th Five Year Plan with Thimphu Dzongda.

“This year we didn’t collect money to renovate the bridge instead we have adjusted from the gewog budget to achieve all the set developmental plans,” said Chang Gup Ugyen.

He said the budget was actually allotted to construct the Gup’s office in a new location on the other side of the Wangchu River since it is located in the vicinity of Royal Institute of Management (RIM).

However the Plan was cancelled as the new location was not practical and accessible for people to visit and do their works.

In 2007 people of Debsi contributed millions to construct a motorable bridge but five years later the community got a bridge that was falling apart. The total lack of transparency over the budget raised eyebrows with regard to fund misplacement.

This year the gewog decided to reconstruct the bridge from the gewog’s budget as the Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigme Y. Thinley had also decided not to shift the gewog office in consideration of the importance of Local Government.

“The total budget to construct Gup’s office was around Nu 4mn, from where the budget is allocated for all the developmental plans for the gewog,” the Chang Gup said.

This was a collective decision made from discussions with the members of the gewog Tshogde.

Gewog Tshogpa’s Dorji wangdi said the renovation work was kept aside for about a week as there weren’t sufficient wooden planks to replace the derelict ones.

Gup Ugyen justified this was because the saw mill where wooden planks are processed had broken-down.

“The concerned contractor is assigned with a month to complete their work and we hope it is completed on the fixed date, which is by end of this month,” he said.

Gup Ugyen said previously development was planned at official levels but from this year-on it will be discussed in public, and issues – tabled, to come up with solutions.

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