Received without question

Mid Term Review 17 February, 2011 – Since development activities within the dzongkhag were progressing as expected, no queries followed the Bumthang dzongda’s presentation on its progress report during the mid term review yesterday.

That allowed the dzongkhag authorities to discuss other issues besides those activities included in plan document.

Bumthang dzongda Sangay Thinlay raised the issue of insufficient stones that the numerous development activities happening in the dzongkhag demanded.

Natural resource development corporation officials informed Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley that they had identified and booked three stone quarry sites.

Although two of them were more or less approved, the stones found therein, they said, failed to meet the quality required for building concrete traditional structures.

“Villagers in the area, where the third quarry was located, have objected to us mining stones,” one corporation official said. “It’s located directly opposite their monastery.”

Lyonchhoen said the matter needed to be looked into because it was obvious that development activities required stones.

“If there’s no serious issues, we should understand and try and support development activities,” he said.

The other issue came from Chokhor gup Sangla, who requested for a middle secondary school with boarding facilities for Chokhor toe and Dhur chewogs under his gewog.

He said it was once included in the tenth plan but later postponed.

“Since our children have to move out of the gewog after class VI, we wish it to be upgraded till class VIII,” he said.

Education secretary Sangay Zam explained that, while the need for a middle secondary school was agreeable, they shelved it for the current plan, since schools in other gewogs had vacancies.

Agriculture minister Dr Pema Gyamtsho, also the parliament member representing Chokhor-Tang constituency, said the proposal was viable in view of Chokhor toe having the biggest population and the education policy of 100 percent school enrolment.

Lyonchhoen, who agreed with what the education secretary said, explained it was better to elevate a school’s standard, providing better facilities and teachers than have schools in numerous places that compromised on education quality.

Looking to the number of students in the community schools around, he said, it was time to club the schools.

“But we’ll look into the possibilities and do a better study based on facts and figure,” he said.

In response to Chokhor gup’s proposal for possible telecommunication services for herders living along the highlands near northern borders, Lyonchhoen said providing such services for such people would be considered a priority for security reasons.

In the meantime, the mid term review team was overjoyed to find themselves feeding on the views that heavy snowfall in the dzongkhag brought them during tea break.

“This is a good sign,” Lyonchhoen said.

By Samten Yeshey
www.kuenselonline.com



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