Park remains idle without visitors in Dewathang Gewog

A community forest in Bangtsho and Chenari chiwog of Dewathang Gewog in Samdrup Jongkhar which was converted into a park about six years ago remains idle today. With no guests visiting the park, the infrastructure has been unutilized. More than three million was spent to construct the park.

Spread over 200 acres, the community forest was converted into a park to allow locals to make income by collecting minimal fees from domestic and international tourists.

However, the park is in a sad state of disrepair today. It has not received a single visitor since 2016.

“After consulting the forest department, we developed the park here. But we have not received any visitors. I think the reason for this is that there are many formalities for Indian guests to visit the country. I feel that even if they are interested to visit, the formalities discourage them,” said Karma, a resident.

“The government spent a huge amount in developing this area to develop a park for us. I feel that it has been a huge waste of money and resources,” said Sangay Wangdi, another resident.

“I am worried about the state of the park as it is idle most of the time. It has been a huge waste of resources and money,” said Wangda.

According to an official from the Department of Forest in Samdrup Jongkhar, since the park was handed over to the residents, they have the responsibility to manage and promote the park by consulting with relevant agencies.

In the meantime, the residents said they are finally working on a promotion plan by consulting with relevant agencies.

The park is located about 12 kilometres from Samdrup Jongkhar town. It has hiking trails where visitors can enjoy bird watching.

The Market Access and Growth Intensification Project funded the park’s construction in 2016.

Kinley Wangchuk, Samdrup Jongkhar

Edited by Sonam Pem

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