Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley returned to Thimphu yesterday after a six-day visit to Zhemgang to assess the progress of development activities especially the road network in the gewogs.
Lyonchhen, accompanied by Labor Minister Lyonpo Dorji Wangdi and Secretary of works and human settlement ministry and government officials, visited the construction sites of Shingkhar farm road, Goling farm road, Digala road, Gomphu-Panbang road, Bjoka farm road, Panbang-Nganglam road, Pantang Bridge and Nishioka Bridge in Panbang. Lyonchhen also met and interacted with the people, local government members, dzongkhag officials, teachers, students and the business community.
Zhemgang being one of the least developed dzongkhags, Lyonchhen expressed concerns over the delay in constructing motorable road to every gewog center within the 10th Plan period. Five of the eight gewogs (Trong, Ngangla, Phangkhar, Nangkor and Goshing) are connected to their centers while three gewogs of Bjoka, Bardo and Shingkhar are still not connected to their centers.
To achieve the target, Lyonchhen instructed that the department of roads shall take up the construction of Bardo farm road and urged the involved officials to speed up the construction of Shingkhar road. Although there has been slow progress of road construction in Shingkhar gewog because of its remoteness and difficult terrain, people expressed appreciation to the government saying that even the present progress has reduced two walking days to Buli.
During his interaction with the people, Lyonchhen spoke of how people of Zhemgang must capitalize on the various economic opportunities because of it being centrally located and in the light of the ongoing road constructions, commencement of the Chamkarchhu Hydropower Project and expansion plans for eco-tourism, water recreation and tourism.
Lyonchhen also raised concerns over the rural electrification coverage of only 40% in Zhemgang and urged Bhutan Power Corporation (BPCL) and the Dzongkhag to ensure that every home is electrified within the Plan period. He asked the people to not leave it to the contractors alone but to work together and assist them. However, Zhemgang has achieved its 10th Plan target of 99.5% enrollment rate.
On 23 November, Lyonchhen inaugurated the Goling bailey bridge across Mangdechhu river. The 300ft long Goling Bailey Bridge will bring the people of Shingkhar, Bardo and Nangkor gewogs closer to Yebilaptsa hospital and Gelephu, and connect Goling village to its gewog centre in Zhemgang, Trong.
Lyonchhen also visited the Mangdechhu Hydropower Project Dam site and power house along Trongsa-Zhemgang highway, Panbang town and the Manas National Park.