Farm road in remote gewog does not serve its purpose, say villagers

The farm road connecting Yoeseltse Higher Secondary School and Kuchidaina is not really living up to its intended functions, say the residents at Kuenzangling village under Yoeseltse Gewog, Samtse.

This is because the inclination of the road is quite high making it tough for   tractors to ply on it.

The one and half kilometer farm road is only walkable which makes no sense, said one of the residents.

A former tshogpa of the village, Kitula, said the tractors cannot carry any load and there no bus ferries through the village comprising ten households. “We cannot attend to any important work at Samtse,” he said.

Although there is a bus plying between Samtse and Chargharey, it does not make any stop at the village if the bus is full. “The taxi fare is Nu 100 which is too expensive for people like us,” said a 50-year old farmer residing in Kuenzangling, Kezang Penjor.

“A bus service through this village would be the best solution,” said another villager.

The dire need to have access to transportation is also due to the fact that the Basic Health Unit in the village does not have a Health Assistant; it is run by a Basic Health Worker and a nurse. “In times of emergencies, we have to go to Samtse which is not easy as we have to hire a taxi,” said Kezang Penjor.

According to the report on  farm roads as of June 2011 compiled by the Engineering Division of the Department of Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, the Dzongkhag has 22 farm roads (138. 58 kilometers) worth Nu 53.6 million benefitting 2,386 households.

From the 22 farm roads, the construction of seven farm roads are ongoing and four are reported non-functional including 1.50 kilometer long Ahalay – Sikaridara/Semanadara farm road worth Nu 1.40 million, 11 kilometer Sukriti – Bukey farm road worth Nu 10.2 million, and 5.7 kilometer Budunay-Lamitar – Tasim farm road worth Nu 3 million.

This also includes Nu 0.750 million worth Kuchidaina Bridge – Kado farm road which stretches to 1.78 kilometer (Yoeseltse Higher Secondary School – Kuchidaina).

However, Samtse Dzongda, Karma Weezir said that despite these minor hiccups, the said farm road has brought much benefit to the dzongkhag.

“A study would be required to really know by how much villagers have benefitted with access to farm roads.

There are a total of 850 farm roads across the country currently.

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