Uttar Kumar Rai the Thrompon elect of Phuentsholing Threomde from Nyedrag Demkhong shares his vision for green, clean and prosperous city and the challenges faced due to Covid-19 pandemic with BT’s reporter Sonam Penjo
What were your feelings after the results were declared?
Answer: This was not my first win. I wasn’t so excited but of course I was content and satisfied with the result announcement, knowing that majority of people have trusted on my leadership. Further, I clearly understand this as a shouldering the responsibilities for fulfilling the hopes of people rather than winning the election.
Describe your major responsibilities as the new Phuentsholing Thrompon?
Answer: Working for plan-based developments, providing service facilities and looking after the people’s welfare are the major responsibilities of a Thrompon. There are many existing issues, which have made our people to suffer. Such issues will be given added priorities and focus. This must solved responsibly and timely so that our city achieves practically the vision of Green, Clean and Prosperous City. These all are the major responsibilities that I see.
What is going to be your first task as the new Thrompon?
Answer: As a new re-elected Thrompon, I am immediately going to start my incomplete developmental projects and activities. These are the most important projects, which are crucial and utmost important for city development. Along with these works, I will also concentrate on immediate request made by the people during the campaign period, which is of paramount importance considering the gravity of grievances they have shared with me. Within the 100 days, if Covid-19 pandemic normalize to certain level, I will strive such facilities to my public for their welfare.
What is your take on the issue of “Good to Great Phuentsholing City?”
Answer: No city in the world is developed overnight. People should not expect what is beyond a limit and next to impossible. There are many factors, which hinder a development journey. Above all, financial resources and human professional resources are the main issues that challenge the Local Government from rapid and continuous development. We can develop our city to some extent but expecting a great city within five years is just like a dream. We have just started our modern city development from the scratch. From the Phuentsholing it is today, we will be able to somehow make it to “one of the best cities.
Given years of working experience with the Thromde, how would you make the Thromde healthier place to live than ever before?
Answer: How healthier the city is purely dependent of the city planning and execution on the ground. The city planning has already been completed in my previous term. What remains is the execution and implementation works. So this time, Phuentsholing will be much better than earlier and healthier than before. Henceforth, everything will put to action effectively in all the localities. This is the basic principle to make Phuentsholing healthier
Do you think people will expect more from you since you are known as a dedicated, sincere, and an approachable and a humble person?
Answer: Honestly, it’s not because of these qualities that make people expect more this time. As I am being elected for the second time, people’s expectation will obviously be higher this time. As far as I am concerned, I am also confident that I can do much better this time due to my past experience.
How challenging will it be to realize your goals during and post-pandemic?
Answer: More than anything, this never-ending Covid-19 pandemic has become a great challenge for me to turn my dream goals to reality. We are all more concerned of the pandemic these days. It is a fact all the raw materials and skilled human resources directly come from the neighboring countries. If this pandemic stays on, the development works will get hampered. But despite of such challenges at present, I will still seek other ways and means to keep the public trust alive. There is no giving up now. The promises that I made to the public will be kept intact. I am 100 percent sure.
Any lessons you learned from this whole experience?
Answer: Gaining experience itself is a great lesson for me. Working for diverse background of people and places in Thromde is quite a challenging task. We cannot fulfill each and everyone’s wishes. City’s problems can be solved only through good planning. If we fail to plan properly there will be negative implications in the future. Therefore, working consistently and patiently with dedication to fulfill the goal is the biggest lesson I have learned while serving as people’s servant. A Thrompon is not a boss. A Thrompon is a servant leader or people’s faithful servant. As a leader of 21st century, we should know this profound value to succeed.
Will you incorporate manifestos of your opponents for the development and welfare of your Thromde?
Answer: Whatever we do in Thromde is a collective effort whether the ideas come from the people of from within the office. Incorporating best practices my contesting colleagues have pointed out is not a problem for me if they work. The goal is to take the best ideas for making Phuentsholing a better city for the people.
Do you have any message for your well-wishers and the people of Phuentsholing Thromde?
Answer: Getting re-elected is not my individual effort. If we look deep inside, we will come to know many have worked tirelessly for me. My victory in this election has the collective support of many, without whose support, wishes and prayers, I could not have won.
So, I would like to thank each and every one for their unwavering support and wishes. I expect the same support hereafter in the future as well. I also would like to thank all my voters and residents of Phuentsholing for their trust and faith on me. Lastly but not the least, I extend this important gratitude of appreciation to all three Thrompon candidates and all Tshogpas for giving choices to the voters.