English | Dzongkha Sunday, October 22, 2017

Villagers decide to build their own road

Sonam Wangdi, Phuentshogling
Mar 30, 2014

DophulakhaFarmRoadThe villagers of Dophulakha under of Phuentshogling Gewog have decided to take matters into their own hand. They have decided to build a farm road with their own money, after their pleas fell on deaf ears. Neither the government nor the dzongkhag administration had heeded to their request for a farm road.

The construction of five-kilometre road began on Thursday. Each household have contributed Nu.10,000 for the construction. There are 36 households in Dophulakha.

If need be, they willing to contribute more.

Dophulakha Tshogpa, Dhan Bahadhur Chhetri, said they agreed to contribute and construct the road by themselves through a general consensus. “People say that government’s budget is limited and we felt we should understand their situation.”

A villager, Jas Bir Rai, said they have put up the issue in the gewog meetings several times. “They said though it was reflected in the plan, there is no budget. Even the Members of Parliament, during meetings with the villagers, said the same.”

In absence of a road, life is difficult, they added. They have to walk at least an hour from the nearest road head to reach their village.

By last November, they had decided they should build their own road.

In the meantime, many of them are losing part of their land and more importantly, cardamom; their main cash crop. But the sacrifice, they say, is an investment for the future.

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Jas Bir Rai said there are places still with no road and people have to walk for four to five hours. “So the government has greater task of constructing roads to such places.”

He said their village is just about five kilometers away from the nearest road head. “We took as citizen’s responsibility to build the road.”

The village elder, Abhi Kesar Chhetri, lives at the top and farthest part of Dophulakha. He is already looking forward to completion of the road. “The hiring charge for carrying a bag of rice from the road to my place costs Nu.200. We have done this for a very long time and it becoming expensive for us.”

Once the road is completed, Abhi Kesar Chhetri, said, they could always ask those who own vehicles to carry their loads.

Some of them are optimistic about the economic benefits the road would bring about. “Once the road reaches our doorstep, we can cultivate vegetables and we will have vehicles to take it to the market,” said another villager, Phul Mati Rai.

A contractor had hired them an excavator at a reasonable rate to construct the road.

The construction is expected to cost close to Nu.6,00,000. The officials say, had it been the government’s initiative, it would have cost over a million and a half.

4 Comments for “Villagers decide to build their own road”

  1. Tashi

    That’s a great initiative taken by the people. We cannot rely all the time and each and every activities and problems to be solved by the government as they too face many problems and get many other task to fulfill. Govt. definitely would want to solve the problems as much as they can but certain problems and deficiencies obstruct them. So, it’s a great job done by people of those village. And if all people think positively and work like them, that will lead to development of our country and strong trust will be built between people and the government. Probably government would compensate the work they did once they are in a position to pay.

  2. dokdo

    It does remind of our visionary Fourth King’s historic coronation speech at Changlimithang that instead of a huge effort from the government, a small effort on people’s part would make a greater impact.

    It is a good point for emulation rather than the incessant bombardment from all quarters of the country that government should provide everything. If one listens to our senior citizens, the government in their time was run on tax, labour and sweats of the people.

  3. kinley Tshering

    The villagers of Dophulakha under Phuentshogling Gewog deciding to Take matters into their own hand in sponsoring for the farm road.

    Dophulakha Tshogpa, Dhan Bahadhur Chhetri, said “People say that government’s budget is limited and we felt we should understand their situation.”
    That’s what a true citizen of Bhutan should be and act like one. We can’t afford to leave everything for the Government. Water for drinking, electricity for lightning, Channels for harvesting, Hospitals, schools and so on. Your local story in taking the initiative to build the road with contribution fund is a good start for all the citizens of Bhutan to contribute for a general cause. Long live such Citizens. Definitely, I as a person would step forwards for such activities. “Come one come all and prove your worthiness being a butanese.”
    A well wisher

  4. Lawmaker

    haha look at the them digging dressed in the national dress. Why would they do that? It is so inconvenient and would get the gho dirty, Was it for the benefit of the cameras?

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