The many challenges of a Gewog bordering Arunachal Pradesh

Villagers in Toetsho gewog in Trashiyangtse say their gewog is left behind in any development sectors. There are several issues that the gewog face.

Lack of medical facilities

Most women in the village reported that it was difficult for them to access medical facilities, such as Pap smear, as there are no female health workers. This has forced many women to walk for more than three hours to avail themselves of medical care and checkup.

The villagers have requested the government to upgrade the current BHU with additional female nurses, so that it is easier for the women to get the necessary medical checkup and treatments.

Most of the villagers are hopeful that the government will look into the matter quickly as it would ease the lives of the villagers.

Border security

Another major issue faced by the people in Jangphurtse is that although it shares a border with Tawang, India, there are only five police personnel in the gewog for security reasons.

Lack of electricity in the cremation ground

The newly constructed cremation ground in Jangphurtse remains unused without electricity. The government had spent around Nu 1.2 million to construct the cremation ground.

Teotsho Gup, Dechen Wangdi, said the gewog center had requested the dzongkhag administration and the Bhutan Power Corporation to provide electricity, but there is no response to their request.

He said that it was not profitable for BPC to provide electricity at the chiwog as it is located far away. He added that electricity has now become very important and that everyone should be given the facility.

Besides, Toetsho gewog has been facing constant power supply disruption for many years, causing much inconvenience to many offices, businesses and shops. At times, power outages lasts more than a week. This issue has also been faced by households in Khamdang gewog.

School shutdown

The only primary school in Manam chiwog was closed down in 2014, after many villagers had left their houses and moved out of the villages.

Human-wildlife conflict

Another serious issue faced by most of the gewogs in Trashiyangtse is the human –wildlife conflict. Although electric fences have been installed in many areas, it has proven futile and wild animals still continue to destroy crops and vegetables.

Khamdang Gup said the electric fences should be improvised and people should use crisscrossed electric fences, as it would be more effective in keeping the wildlife away from the crops.

He also said that households should bear certain cost of installing the fences as they will also take care and maintain the fences. When it is provided for free, they usually do not look after the fences, he added.

Improved sanitation

Among the many challenges, villagers in Toetsho gewog also shared some positive stories. More than 90 percent of the people use toilet, thereby, reducing many sicknesses in the villages. It has led to an overall improvement, in terms of their health.

Teotsho Gup said that it was difficult in the beginning as villagers were not keen on constructing toilets, even after the government provided all the materials. Only after the government warned that the materials will be taken back, the construction started quickly.

He said a toilet each in one household has now become a priority.

Farm mechanization

Teotsho Gup has also been encouraging the people to make use of power tillers instead of oxen. Using machinery, such as power tiller, helps to multiply production and reduce workload.

However, since some of the chiwogs are still not connected by farm road, it was difficult to bring in the power tillers. Today, many villagers have managed to make use of power tillers, even with there being no farm roads. They carry the parts and assemble the power tillers in the field. By 2021, it is expected that all the chiwogs will make use of power tillers and no more oxen.

About Usha Drukpa

One comment

  1. What could be the rationale of including the name of Arunachal Pradesh in the news lead, as I don’t see any relation in the content of the news.

    Thank you
    P.s. Personal views

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