How Dzongkhags in different regions managed during the lockdown and most to be ready with zoning plans by Monday

The lockdown situation was hasslesome in urban areas like Thimphu and Phuentsholing initially in terms of food supply management, service delivery and product availability, however a brief overview at other prime locations was smoother as per the Dzongdas.

Sarpang Dzongda Karma Galey said that the people were very cooperative during the lockdown period and there were no complaints for non-compliance.

As for security the Dzongkhag has about 70 outposts guarded by the RBP officials and the Dessups.

The Dzongda said that they could not efficiently roll out the delivery service plan on the first day even though they had identified distribution networks and service providers before the lockdown in the contingency plan, however they were able to cater to the needs from the day after.

He added, “In gewogs we allowed the farm shops to open and the gewog administration and the Dessups carried the commodities to the villages.”

As for vegetables, the Dzongda said that since it is the lean season for vegetable production due to hot climatic conditions, the dzongkhag convened to import the vegetables from other dzongkhags like Wangdi Phodrang, Punakha, Thimphu and Paro.

He said that around 8 to 9 vegetable vendors were identified who also took the deliveries to the rural farm shops who would distribute it further to the people.

As for meat supply, according to the Dzongda, the Dzongkhag had surplus production and people were even concerned about not being able to sell their produce, therefore the Dzongkhag administration facilitated for export to Thimphu for instance by asking the vendors to arrange for transportation, to which the Dzongkhag officials allocated the pass.

He added that livestock officials were deployed from the Dzongkhag to communicate with their counterparts in Thimphu as to find out the requirement of Chicken in kilograms in Thimphu.

For alcohol, the groceries who had license to sell alcohol were allowed to deliver it to people’s homes.As for tobacco, the Duty Free has been providing the people with the product.

He said that about 4 to 5 pharmacies are allowed to open on alternate days so that people could get over the counter drugs or other requirements.

The Dzongda said that they are currently working on the zoning system for Sarpang Dzongkhag and are in the process of adding QR codes. He said that it should be ready by Monday.

Similarly, Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongda Tharchin Lhendup said that the compliance by the people had been good. As for food and essential items 7 shops were pre-planned as per the contingency plan along with vehicles, monitoring officers and service providers.

For vegetable delivery, the Dzongkhag administration allotted 6 local vendors who received stocks from other Dzongkhag vendors like those from Mongar or Trashigang. He added, “the prices are monitored by the agriculture officers to ensure there is no price hiking practices”.

As for security, the Dzongda said that even before the lockdown the security was tight and after the border closure and lockdown both were in place, it was further strengthened with less people commuting.

He said that the municipal area alone has about 20 outposts being monitored by the Dessup and the taskforce.

The Dzongkhag had to import chicken and pork items from nearby gewogs as there are a lot of poultry farms and even fisheries and they had abundant supply. However, the Dzongda said that they could not send the chicken meat to Thimphu or other further Dzongkhags due to unavailability of freezers.

However, the Dzongda said that about 2 to 3 boleros full of Datsi and Maa were sent to Thimphu.

In terms of medicines for people the Dzongda said that the only pharmacy had run out of stock and mostly the hospital and nurses had to cater to those requirements.

As per the Dzongda, people in Samdrup Jongkhar can also look forward to zoning system starting Monday or Tuesday as they are currently in the process of getting approval from the National Zoning authorities and are in the verge of printing out QR code and the cards.

As for Paro Dzongkhag the zoning system was rolled out beginning 27th August as people were issued cards.

Paro Dzongda Tenzin Thinley said that the zones were segregated into 3 factions, namely; the town zone, the buffer zone and the gewog zone. The Dzongda said that the Dzongkhag has about 6 pharmacies with primary health care professionals available and people are also provided medication during the flu checkups.

The Dzongda said that there was no shortage for alcohol produce and there were even local brewers who would have their personal stock.

As for tobacco the Duty-free shop had been providing it, however, there was another series of demand from the gewogs.

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