In Phanzor and Yebashing villages in Pema Gathshel, people still have to walk for about an hour from the nearest road to get to their homes. Almost all other villages in Dechhenling Gewog are accessible by farm roads. However, people in the two villages still lead life like in the olden days.
There are two farm roads nearby but Phanzor and Yebashing residents remain cutoff without a road to their villages. Most of the young ones have left the village. Without road access, everyday is a struggle for the villagers.
Dorji Wangchuk, a villager in Yebashing says they have to transport sand on their backs from the road point to their home when they have to construct a house. “We pay Nu 100 per bag as carriage charge. Likewise, we also have to carry the timbers on our backs. So, life is very difficult without a road.”
“We are left only with the elderly people in the village. The younger ones have moved to urban areas looking for jobs. So, we are living a difficult life like in the ancient times,” said Tshering Dorji, a Phanzor resident.
Life is simple in the two villages. Villagers fetch firewood and carry them on their backs to the village. Most of their time is spent carrying goods. Their only dream is to have a farm road in their village.
“If a road is constructed for our village, our children living elsewhere may visit us frequently and look after elderly people like us. Moreover, we will be able to earn some cash selling our oranges and vegetables,” added Tshering Dorji.
Dorji Wangchuk from Yebashing says they would cultivate more fruit trees and vegetables if they get a farm road. “And we can also repair our homes with less expenditure. Today, we have to pay Nu 6,000 till the nearest farm road for transporting raw materials and again we have to spend another Nu 6,000 to reach the things to the village.”
Nevertheless, they might get a farm road in the next five-year plan. The Chiwog Tshogpa says due to the shortage of budget, Phanzor and Yebashing’s farm road construction activity could not be included in the previous plans.
Kezang Jigme, the Tshogpa of Doongphu-Shingchongri Chiwog in Dechhenling Gewog says he will propose a farm road construction plan it in the 13thFive-Year Plan.
There are 12 households in the two villages. They grow orange as their main cash crop. Most of them have plans to construct better homes if a road is built.
For now, the villagers will have to continue living life the hard way.
Thinley Dorji, Pema Gatshel
Edited by Kipchu
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