The villagers of Sadumadu are discontent without a farm road connecting to their village. The village, under Phuentsholing gewog, which is around two hours’ walk from the main town currently uses the gewog connectivity road and it takes around half an hour walk to reach the village.
The villagers had hoped their village would get road connectivity this year but were dismayed to learn that it was not in the plan.
The villagers have lost hope of getting a farm road since the need was raised a decade ago.
They say, their village is still isolated, while the nearby villages are connected with roads including Phuentsholing and Logchina gewogs. The villagers say that a farm road has become necessary especially during emergencies. They still carry essential commodities on feet from the nearest road, which is an hour’s walk.
“If we have a road, it would encourage the farmers to cultivate cash crops and earn as the land is very fertile apart from helping reach the goods. But knowing it’s not happening, I have lost hope,” Kul Bdr Mongar said.
More than 28 households and land owners own land at Sadumadu but it is not utilized due to lack of road connectivity. One woman, Mamta Mongar, said the labor shortage to transport goods also adds to their problem even if they are willing to pay the amount to carry the goods. The road would also help the villagers of Darjaygang, who own land in Sadumadu.
“We hoped for a road this year but realized it is notcoming. We have been trying for years and now have lost hope,”Mamta Mongar said.
She said that she has stopped growing cardamom, which is main cash crop in the village.
Mangal Singh Thapa, another farmer also said that farm road has become necessary during emergencies and it doesnot require much budget to complete the work. “We would be happy if we get road connection,” he said.
Pachhu Chiwog Tshogpa, Prem Bdr. Mongar said the works on the construction of the road was stalled without public clearance from the people, which resulted in the diversion of the funds to other activities.
Meanwhile, Phuentsholing Gup, Birkha Bdr. Rai said that the budget has been diverted to other critical areas with Nu 6.9mn allocated to the gewog. He said that there are other villages which take hours to walk that are still disconnected.“We have to prioritize the work as the budget was released late. We are carrying out the activities as per the plan,” he said adding that the village is still connected with the mining road which is being maintained. He said that the activities were carried out according to the budget outlay, necessity and time frame to complete.
The Phuentsholing Gewog Administration had conducted a provisional survey last year after the need was raised during former home minister’s visit in the gewog last year.
Phuentsholing gewog has to complete 24 farm roads within the 12th plan. The gup has assured the villagers that works on the road will start next year. “Since it won’t take more than 15 minutes from the nearest road, we have left it for next year,” the Gup said.
Pic courtesy: Dicky Mongar
Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing