Four candidates in race for Phuentsholing Thrompon’s post

Four candidates will contest for the coveted post of Phuentsholing Thrompon during the upcoming Phuentsholing Thromde elections scheduled on April 28.

One of the candidates is a former Tshogpa of Phuentsholing Maed (core town), Chhungku Dawa. The 40-year-old is also the only female candidate to contest for the Thrompon’s post.

Chhungku Dawa has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the North Bengal University, India. She worked for four years in a private company as an assistant manager in Thimphu and has served as a Tshogpa for three years.

“Being a female candidate doesn’t undermine my capability to do my duty and service to the people of my town,” she said. “As a working woman and having had undergone the same problems as the general public, I stand here for the election,” said Chhungku Dawa.

She pledged to improve the water crisis, maintenance of road including the potholes, waste issues, among others, if elected.

“The priority will be to overlook and complete the five-year plan that has been at halt,” she added.

A former Phuentsholing Thromde engineer, Devi Charan Dhimal, is another candidate contesting for the Thrompon’s post.

The fifty-six years old has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and has worked for 27 years in the civil service, and three years in the private sector. He will contest from the Toed Demkhong.

His previous position was with the Phuentsholing Thromde as project coordinator for two Asian Development Bank-funded projects.

“Having served the TSA-WA-SUM for three decades, and having known the taxpayers’ pain and grievances, I am confident that there are several issues to be addressed and improve the overall business of Phuentsholing Thromde,” he said.

Since the local government is the nearest government for the citizens and accountable to the taxpayers, Devi Charan Dhimal said he decided to contest with the hope and aspiration to improve the overall services to the taxpayers and do justice for the money they pay.

He said his top priorities would be on providing reliable and consistent water supply to all the Demkhongs, blacktopping all the roads with will to be connected to the plot levels, and effective and climate-resilient infrastructure works.

He added that there will be good relation with central government and stakeholders to enable more accountability. “To bring reliable public transport systems, town extension at Amochu, and bringing bigger projects, housing issue of the low-income group will be looked upon,” he said, adding that effective waste collection will also take place to maintain a clean, green and safe Phuentsholing.

Karma Gelay, 53 from Rinchending constituency, is the third candidate contesting for the Thrompon’s post.

The candidate has a Bachelor’s degree in architecture and an MA of Science in Urban Management and Development. He worked for 27 years as an architect in civil service and as a consultant.

“I am contesting because of the slow pace and poor quality developments in the Thromde despite having a great potential,” he said.

He said Phuentsholing has great potential and the city continues to become the economic hub for Bhutan.

“I want to make Phuentsholing a garden city,” said Karma Gelay.

He said his top priorities will be on water issue, bringing up a new park, libraries, and sports facilities,

“There will be systemic changes in the Thromde’s office to have better coordination, efficiency, and accountability. There will be executed plan activities with maximum efficiency and accountability,” he said. 

According to him, the planned development activities not covered with the five-year plans would be proposed to gain support which can benefit the plans to establish, and development to take place. All the developing plans, coordination, facilitation, monitoring, and maintaining will be done in an efficient, transparent and accountable way.

“The Thromde will be leading the role towards a genuine economic hub that will create a helpful environment to enhance economic activity which will provide thousands of job opportunities for the youths,” he added.

The fourth candidate is the former Phuentsholing Thrompon, Uttar Kumar Rai. 

The 39 years old said he is re-contesting to eradicate all the existing problems and take the city to a higher level after having an experience as a Thrompon.

Additionally, he said many projects have already commenced and are in the pipeline and it will shape the destiny of this city and the people once they all are implemented.

Uttar Kumar Rai has a bachelor’s degree in commerce. Prior to becoming the Phuentsholing Thrompon, he worked as a teacher for two years and ran a business for five years. He is contesting from the Neydrag Demkhong.

“The strive to eradicate water problems, traffic congestion, housing shortage, waste problems, and storm drainage problems will be looked upon,” he said, adding that the town will prosper as an economic hub and a green and clean livable city.

He also plans to start a ‘one-stop grievance address center’ chaired by the Thrompon, additional health facilities, make use of effective and efficient city bus services, prioritize land pooling issues of the Thromde, implement fair taxation on properties, boost the local economy and create job opportunities. Enhancing public safety and security, urban greening landscape, and beautification of the Thromde, promoting culture and tradition, develop organized recreational center, support women and children along with youths and elderly citizens and maintain a dust-free city are also his pledges.

Sonam Tashi from Phuentsholing