English | Dzongkha Sunday, February 17, 2019

Rukoobji villagers mourn loss of traditional water mills

Surjaman Thapa, Trongsa
Jun 25, 2017

  The people of Rukoobji under Saephu Gewog in Wangdue Phodrang want the government to allow them to reconstruct their traditional water mills.

The forestry officials, in 2015, dismantled all seven traditional water mills in the village since they were constructed on government land.

This has meant a loss of mills to grind grains for the villagers of Rukoobji who have used water mills, locally known as Chhura, for generations to grind flour.

Their efforts to relocate the mills have proved futile as there is no private land located by the river or streams. So, the villagers travel to Chendebjee and Tshangkha in Trongsa to grind wheat and barley flour. Some travel to as far as Lobesa in Punakha.

“Its big problem for us,” said Dawa Tshering, the Tshogpa of Rukoobji. “We mostly depend on wheat and barley and now we have to travel far to grind flour.”

“When we had the water mills in our village, we just had to drop off our grains in the morning and it will be ready for collection by evening,” said Penjor, a farmer. “But now we have to take a day off just to grind grains.”

Saephu Gup said the Gewog Administration was not informed when the mills were dismantled. He added the gewog office is ready help the people if they come up with proposals to build water mills.

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