Narphoong villagers await land replacement

Narphoong villagers await land replacement

Meanwhile, DANTAK is hoping to complete the works by this year

Thirteen households of Narphoong Chiwog in Gomdar Gewog of Samdrup Jongkhar are waiting for land replacement after the Samdrup Jongkhar-Trashigang highway widening works triggered a massive landslide last year damaging around 20 acres of land belonging to them.

According to the villagers, heavy landslide last year in August covered all their land with huge boulders, debris and mud turning their land non-arable.

The affected villagers wrote to Gomdar Gewog administration on this issue in April this year.

“I have about three acres of land on which I planted bamboos, walnut and other saplings,” said Tshering Tobgay from Narphoong. “The landslide has damaged all of them.It is all covered with boulders and debris. We have also approached the Gup but we don’t know whether we will get land replacement or not.”

Another villager said that the Tshogpa has taken their application to the gewog administration. “Once project DANTAK tried to throw boulders and debris on our land, we stopped them from doing it.”

However, he said that with the heavy landslide, the lands are already covered with boulders and debris.

Tshering, one of the landowners, who resides in Trashigang, said he has been waiting for information on the land replacement. “We are worried that if we don’t get land replacement, all our hopes will go down the drain.”

He lost around 500 of his walnut plants to the landslide. “It is a huge loss as my plants were supposed to bear fruit within a few years.”

Gomdar Gup, Sonam Tshering, said the gewog administration has plans to visit and inspect the affected area soon and do necessary follow up.

The Gup said that the gewog administration has to verify the incident before approaching relevant authorities.

With monsoon at its peak, the widening work has left many commuters disappointed with frequent roadblocks.

Karma, a regular commuter, said that after the widening work began along the highway, frequent major roadblocks are a common feature along the stretch, especially during summer.

Meanwhile, DANTAK is hoping to complete the works by this year.

However, the weather and difficult terrain are the major challenges that hamper the work progress along the stretch.

There are 38 households with a population of 362 in Narphoong Chiwog.

Jigme Wangchen from Narphoong, S/Jongkhar