Gungtong, a cause of concern for people of Jangphutse village in Trashi Yangtse

It is no secret that rural villages in the country are emptying. Similarly, in Tashi Yangtse, rural-urban migration has been a cause of concern for the people of Jangphutse village in Toedtsho Gewog. Every year, villagers say some three to four families are migrating to nearby districts leaving many Gungtongs or empty houses. But people say having a ropeway to their village might reverse the trend.

Jangphutse village is located about four hours walk from the nearest road point. According to the Toedtsho Gewog, from 86 households in 2008, only half of the families reside in the village today.

Many houses remain locked and some have even turned into ruins. The arable lands too are now fallow.

Only elderly people remain in the village.

“Our village is remote and we don’t have a good source of income. So, we face a lot of difficulties. Some of the relatives even tell their families that they don’t want their share of land,” said Karsang, a resident.

“They will not come back. There will be Gungtongs. Since it is difficult to work, they will not come back,” said Kezang, another resident.

A few villagers added that if a ropeway is provided, the issue might get solved.

“I think the Gungtong issue might be solved if the walking trail is improved and a ropeway is provided,” said Sonam Dorji, a resident.

“We have been waiting for a ropeway. Until now, all governments have been pledging about it,” said Tawpo, another resident.

Toedtsho Gup, Dechen Wangdi said the need for a ropeway was discussed some eight years ago, but officials who conducted the survey found it unfeasible.

For now, the gewog does not have any plans to reconsider it as there is a budget constraint.

Sonam Darjay, Trashi Yangtse

Edited by Tshering Zam

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