Dagana’s progress raises questions

MTR 25 January, 2011 – From what the gups of Dagana had to say during the mid term review (MTR) of the dzongkhag’s 10th five-year Plan activities, four of the 14 gewogs in district have already achieved almost 100 percent of Plan activities which ends in June 2013.

The other 10 gewogs also reported of achieving more than 75 percent of the planned activities.

But with Nu 214 M for the first allocated the first two years of the 10th Plan, achievements were measured more in terms of completing the limited planned activities rather than services the planned activities delivered. The highest fund allocated to a gewog was about Nu 14M and the lowest was Nu 2.4 M.

Khebisa gewog, which reported to have achieved 100 percent in executing all the planned activities for the five-year plan, was allocated Nu 12 M to construct two farm roads of 8.5 kms and 6 kms each, renovate five irrigation channels and construct a gate and fence for the gewog centre.

Kana gewog reported achieving 131 percent in agriculture sector. This, dzongkhag officials said, could be achieved when the expenditure incurred is more than the budgeted figure. “It happens because of inflation since the expenditure incurred at the time of implementation becomes more than what was planned,” an official said.

Geserling gewog constructed an outreach clinic (ORC) for Nu 1.7M, which the gup said is used once in a month to vaccine children in the gewog.

One of the least developed gewogs in the dzongkhag, Lajab, was allocated Nu 2.4M to construct a farm road, five irrigation channel and two ORCs.

But most participants, including officials from finance ministry and department of local governance were skeptical about the achievement.

The finance secretary, Lam Dorji, said that though the physical achievement presented was 100 percent, there are cases of budget getting surrendered at the end of every financial year.

The chief program officer of the department of local governance, Karma Galey, said while the rural water supply scheme coverage was recommendable, there are instances where taps run dry. “I hope this is not the situation here,” he said.

A businessman from Dagana, who also attended the meeting said that since members of the public were not at the meeting, participants were forced to accept what the gups presented. “ I don’t think they achieved all the activities in two years,” he said.

A gup said that few gewogs have included the achievements of 9th plan. “That is why their achievement was 100 percent,” he said. Citing an example of the construction of farm road from the gewog office to Gibsa in Khebisa gewog, where the gup alleged that the work is still incomplete, he said achievements could be 100 percent if on-going works are also included as completed. “The review was for July 2008 to June 2010 but the farm road is under construction.”

A tshogpa, on the choice of anonymity, alleged that they could not confirm the progress since they were told not to talk in the meeting. “I wanted to explain few things but was scared,” he said.

Sources said that mass public participation would be the only solution to have a proper review.

Meanwhile, almost 63 kilometres of farm roads and 44 irrigation channels were constructed in the 10th five year Plan in Dagana. The district has a total budget outlay of Nu 845 M.

By Tashi Dema

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