No specific plans and strategies to address Gungtong issues

The Home Minister says they do not have the authority to restrict the movement of people

There are no specific plans and strategies to address the issue of rural-urban migration leading to Gungtong in the country, according to Home and Cultural Affairs Minister Ugyen Dorji.

Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji said the ministry feels that it is an equal responsibility of all the ministries to address Gungtong issues in rural areas.

The minister made the statement when being quizzed by MP Karma Lhamo from the Mongar constituency regarding the plans and strategies to address Gungtong issues during the question and answer session of the National Assembly yesterday.

The minister said that even globally migration is an issue and that it is not a new trend in the country.

“According to the report from the National Statistics Bureau, today there are around 45,000 people in Tashigang and it is estimated that 25 years from now there will be only 22,000 people,” the minister said.

According to the minister, people go for better opportunities in urban areas which is natural and the government will also not be able to restrict such migration.

“It is important to give services to the people living back in the rural areas and to give better opportunities to those leaving for urban areas,” Lyonpo said.

However, the minister said the government is doing everything to address such issues and 50% of the budget is also used for developing the gewog centers and dzongkhags.

Meanwhile, MP Choki Gyeltshen from the Maenbi-Tsenkhar constituency asked the Home Minister about the status of building one office in every Chiwog to provide convenient and fast services to the people.

“It is also one of the pledges that the government had made,” the MP said.

Home Minister said discussion is going on and almost 80% of it is done with the concerned authorities.

“We have to also look through the roles and responsibilities of Tshogpas, where mostly they are responsible for holding Chiwog meetings, making the Chiwog people aware of the activities, and giving reports to the gewog centers and dzongkhags,” the minister said.

“Do they really need an office or do they need a meeting hall? Similarly, if it is really necessary, the budget from the gewogs can be used because till now as a separate budget has not been disbursed for such activity,” said the Home Minister.

However, if the Chiwog office is really needed, we will look through the circumstances and definitely address the issue. We can even use the Gungtong houses as schools, BHUs, and resident homes amongst others if we really need one. But definitely, we will take the issue forward,” the minister added.

Sherab Dorji from Thimphu