English | Dzongkha Friday, May 29, 2020

Farmers worried about their blocked farm road with orange harvesting season nearing in Pema Gatshel

Nov 8, 2019

Oranges are one of the main cash crops for farmers of La-Nangzor and Phagpuloo villages under Chongshing Gewog in Pema Gatshel. But with harvest season approaching, farmers are worried about how they will be able to transport their produce to the market. This is because the village farm road remains blocked due to a landslide which occurred in the summer.

With the 6.5-kilometre farm road still unusable, locals of La-Nangzor and Phagpuloo have to travel on foot while transporting goods on their backs. Since the farm road was cleared in 2017, locals have benefited from it especially in transporting oranges to the market. But with locals expected to start harvesting their oranges from January, farmers are worried if the roadblock will be cleared by then.

“We were very happy when the farm road was cleared. But with the road blocked because of the landslide, we have to travel on foot again, we seem to have gone back to our previous situation,” Jigmi Zangmo from La-Nangzor said.

“We have to transport ration from the shops to our homes. Then we also have to transport the oranges, we are carrying all of it on our backs. If the road doesn’t get cleared, we have to carry things on our backs which actually cost more. I sold all my horses after we were connected with the road. And now it is difficult to find workers as well,” Sangay Dendup, also from La-Nangzor, said.

“It was cleared once, but it didn’t last long. There was another major landslide and the road has remained blocked since then. As we are rearing the cattle and chicken, we have to carry their feeds on our back. It is very tiring,” Ugyen Zangmo from Phagpuloo said.

Meanwhile, the gewog administration says they have already started working on it. They shared the works to clear the block have already been awarded.

“We have sufficient budget, we have money from the Common Minimal Infrastructure or CMI budget. The works will be started within this month; we have prepared all the paperwork to hand over the works to the contractor, ” Pema Dorji, the Chongshing Gup, said

The clearing works are expected to be finished in around a month, which they say will be before the farmers transport their oranges to the market.

There are more than 20 households in La-Nangzor and Phagpuloo village.

Thinley Dorji

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