After receiving multiple requests from the Daga Gewog Administration in Wangdue Phodrang, the Dzongkhag Tshogdu has decided to develop the Kamichhu area as a Daga Gewog Throm. The Gewog Administration initially proposed a Yenlag Throm but it did not meet certain criteria during the survey. Despite its location along the Wangdue-Tsirang highway, business centres in the area struggled due to the lack of town facilities, causing travellers to bypass it.
In a presentation, the principal engineer of Bajo Municipal in Wangdue Phodrang presented his research report during the Dzongkhag Tshogdu held recently. He said that the Kamichhu area did not fulfil the criteria for a Yenlag Throm under the Thromde Act 2007.
According to the Act, a resident population of 1,500 to 4,999 persons irrespective of their census in the area with over 50 per cent engaged in non-primary activities is required. It also should benefit more than one gewog.
However, the Kamichhu area met the criteria for establishing a Gewog Throm with the Thromde Act specifying a resident population of 100 to 1,500 with over half the population engaged in non-primary and agricultural business activities. And the engineer proposed this as an alternative to the Yenlag Throm proposal.
“Although the Yenlag Throm criteria are not met, it perfectly fulfils the Gewog Throm criteria,” said Tashi Norbu Sherpa, Principal Engineer of Bajo Municipal.
“We would be grateful if the area gets upgraded to a Gewog Throm. Even though it might not be a Yenlag Throm right away, the Dzongkhag Tshogdu chairperson mentioned that there’s a chance of it being upgraded in the future,” said Kinga, Daga Gup.
However, the municipal engineer highlighted potential risk factors pointing out that the Punatsangchhu’s water level and Kamichhu area are similar. This raised concerns that the area could be affected during the monsoon or when the upper water dam of the hydropower project is cleaned.
Moreover, he added that a significant portion of the area was categorized as risky.
“There is a risk of declining business activities after the hydropower projects in the area are completed, which could potentially lead to criticism against the district administration,” added the principal engineer.
Meanwhile, regarding the Gewog Throm’s future budget allocation and management, the deputy chairperson of the Dzongkhag Tshogdu questioned the increasing budget shortage in the gewog.
“There are five chiwogs in the gewog and the problem of budget shortage in the gewog is already on the rise. Moreover, once the Gewog Throm starts, it will require more funding, ultimately affecting progress in the chiwogs,” said Kinley Dendup, Dzongkhag Tshogdu Deputy Chairperson.
“A Gewog Throm would fall under the jurisdiction of the respective gewog administration. And thus, its management would be handled by them,” said Kinzang Thinley, Dzongkhag Tshogdu Chairperson.
As for the Kamichhu area’s future, the gewog administration plans to discuss budget proposals for the Gewog Throm’s establishment during the next Dzongkhag Tshogdu.
Currently, the Kamichhu area has over 400 permanent residents and slightly more than 160 businesses.
The establishment of the Gewog Throm would not only benefit the people of Daga Gewog but also those of neighbouring Athang Gewog.
If the gewog throm comes through, people will have access to facilities such as clean drinking water and banking services among others. Currently, residents of both gewogs have to travel over 30 kilometres to Bajo Throm for town services.
Changa Dorji, Wangdue Phodrang
Edited by Sonam Pem
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