Phuentsholing Thrompon aspirants belts out their pledges

Karma Gelay
Devi Charan Dhimal
Chhungku Dawa

Adequate water supply and infrastructure development main agenda for all candidates vying for the Phuentsholing Thrompon hot seat

Sonam Penjor

Providing of adequate water supply, roads, bridges and residential flats, curbing sewage problems and enhancing city services are the main priorities for aspiring Thrompon candidates for the upcoming Thromde elections in Phuentsholing.

Aspiring candidate, Karma Gelay, 53, contesting from Rinchending constituency said that Phuentsholing is a very important Thromde for most Bhutanese.

He said its role in the overall national economy and security is paramount and cannot be overemphasized. Unfortunately the delivery of infrastructure by all agencies within the Thromde has been slow, inefficient and lacking transparency.

Karma has a MSc. in Urban Development and Management from the Erasmus University in Holland.

“It is this overall pace and quality of infrastructure that perplexes and disappoints me most. We have high speed internet services, airplanes and even a satellite in the sky; but basic infrastructures like good quality roads, bridges, water supply, better waste management and housing still eludes us,” he said.

He also added that Funds that have been returned to the Central Government unutilized could have been spent on much needed water and social infrastructure like parks, libraries and sports facilities.

The first step towards better collaboration with other departments and towards better overall service delivery to all residents, Karma Gelay, said, “I pledge better coordination, collaboration and transparency within the Thromde office and would motivate Thromde officials to make systemic changes for better coordination, efficiency and accountability.”

He also added that he pledge to execute planned activities with maximum efficiency and accountability. However, there will have to be a review of the priority of all planned activity if the benefits are not in keeping with the development of the Thromde as a whole.

Karma also proposes to plan development activities not covered within the five year plans and to gain support for such activities if the benefits of such plans can be firmly established.

Similarly, Chhungku Dawa, 40, from Phuentsholing Maed, said that clean and sufficient water supply, proper waste disposal, proper drainage system and good quality of road and footpaths remain some of her priorities.

She also said that realizing a clean and beautiful city through beautification of the town and extended areas also chart high on her priorities.

She further added that, if elected, her first priority would be on improving the 12th Five Year Plan that been held up and complete it. “If the people want to change we need to first listen to them. We may not be able to listen to them all but we will listen, if it can be anything.” 

“My expectation as only lady contestants is to set an example to every woman of our country providing that we can be also be one of them to create a sustainable future. And to bring changes by full filling all my pledges stated above with dedication and utmost loyalty,” added Chhungku Dawa.

Chhungku Dawa added that being in services for three years as Thromde Thuemi, she had noticed that the general public has a lot of concern about the services that were promised but not delivered due to technical issues, such as proper water supply.

“Me being a woman doesn’t undermine my capability to do and services to the people of my town,” she said.

The 40-year-old has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from North Bengal University in India.

Another aspiring candidate, Devi Charan Dhimal, 56, and representing Phuentsholing Toed, said that his priority will be to take forward the holistic and balance development in all constituencies in order to improve the service delivery to the thromde residents.

His priority includes developing road networks up to the plot levels, adequate water supplies, efficient management of solid wastes, construct storm water drainage systems and improve mass city transport system.

Among other pledges, he plans to create an enabling environment for growth of local tourism and enhance business opportunities with whole sale and retail businesses and create platform for indigenous business/products.

“Building adequate housing facilities to low income people, proper road network, efficient public service, good public transport system, taking balance development to all the constituencies, schools and health facilities including hospitals or BHUs,” Devi Charan Dhimal added.

Despite having Phuentsholing Structure Plan (PSP) which was prepared for 15 years (2013-2028) and the document been approved by the government sometimes in 2015-2016, Devi Charan Dhimal said that its implementation is not effective and thus, given the opportunity to serve as Thrompon, the PSP and the Local Area Plans drawn from the PSP will be implemented religiously.

He has a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering.