Kanglung gewog residents have alleged that their former Gup misappropriated plans for the feeder road supposed to benefit more than one community whereby the feeder road now benefits only a minority.
The Kanglung residents who countered the process of government’s approval of the plan and decisions taken at gewog level have asked the concerned authority for ‘accountability and transparency’ in the matter.
In 2008, farm road was approved for the Sing-Chen Goenpa, Bram-Tshang Goenpa and Dopung village under Kanglung gewog.
The gewog people said the feeder road could have benefitted these communities if the road could take off from highway. But the former Gup changed the plan and took the route through his land.
Residents say the plan had many undesired repercussions and in addition the road had many turnings which affected many lands that are in use.
The former Gup’s land coincidentally is on the safer side.
On top of that the road is used to power tillers only, but the road is now equivalent to a highway and many farmers lost their land.
A resident from Yonphu, Pem Dem said there was a talk on lands being wasted by the villagers.
“It’s obvious for being skeptical about the Gup’s misappropriated plan as his land is extremely on a safer side,” she added.
Another resident from Nagtshang Rhawa, Kinzang said she worries about her children’s sustainability as her limited land was slashed off after the road construction.
“We signed the agreement and it was a collective plan but the change in the plan for road construction wasted all my planted maize and potatoes,” she added.
They said Rinzin Dorji from Nagtshang Rhawa also lost his land but could not contact him as he was not in an accessible area.
In his defense the former Gup Ugyen Dorji explained that Sing-Chen Goenpa road and Bram-Tshang Goenpa road was not in 9th Five Year Plan.
“As people in Sing-Chen Goenpa and Rongthong were not accessible to road facilities, we pleaded in the Gewog Yargay Tshogchung meeting as it became necessary for the community,” he said.
He said these communities had trouble, especially after harvesting their potatoes. Therefore with the fund from Khangma project, Kanglung, the power tiller road was constructed.
“We could get budget for road cutting only,” he said. The budget was also adjusted for road paneling and for drainage system.
He said for one kilometer road around Nu 0.3mn was sanctioned and with that limited budget they could construct 7 km roads for Rongthong and Sing-Chen Goenpa.
He said that all the complaints in online forums are false. “There is no point of defaming me as road construction was a collective measure done through proper public meetings and consultations,” he said.
Regarding the change in the plan for the road construction he said that they had to change the route as planned route was found out to be landslide prone.
“The route that was supposed to be taken was from Yonphula to Sing-Chen Goenpa, but it being a land slide prone area we had to take from Sing-Chen Goenpa till Nagtshang Rhawa.”
Although the distance would be short from Yonphula to Sing-Chen Goenpa yet it would be an accident prone area, he said. Thus, it would be wastage of resources.
“About the lost land, it was discussed thoroughly with the public and they have signed on No Objection Certificates too,” he said.
For the road construction the feasibility survey was done by the Dzongkhag surveyors.
However the road for Bram-Tshang Goenpa is still not constructed though it was planned said the residents.
The Chief Engineer for Department of Road under Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS) said that the after the feasibility survey, one can change the plan to take off the road but they should have the permission from the Government.
Otherwise without prior permission there will be an obvious impact on cost of construction and on public.
The Gewog Gup Kunzang Dorji said that several complaints were there but it is not sure how far it was true.
The Gewog office is now working on giving them the land substitution. “We have already signed the agreement and we are hoping to get land substitutes soon,” said Kunzang.