Thursday, 25 September 2014

Guidelines Vs Guidelines

The people of Rangthangling prefers to use the amount of two million (20 lakhs) for the Zulphaygaon Farm Road which has an approximate of 4 kms and the Sunkosh farm road of an approximate 5.6 kms based from the first round of ocular survey or the preliminary survey. Yet it remained as the prioritize activities for the usage from the two million (20 lakhs) grant (GDG) for the fiscal year 2014-2015. It was also after the consultative meeting held on 29th August with the public of Rangthangling Gewog or the residents of five Chewogs. The Gewog Development Grant (GDG)’s Guidelines, 2014 in one of the criteria under 3.) Amount, scope & Criteria for the Grant States that ii.) ‘The grant must be distributed to all the chewogs equally irrespective of number of households, populations and chewog size.  The chewog would have the authority to use the share of grant allocated to them for basic development activities within the chewog. However if two or more chewogs agree to combine the resources for a common project that would benefit two or more chewogs or all chewogs agree to use the grant for a bigger common project that would benefit all chewogs it might be allowed upon the consensus of public of the respective chewogs’’. On the contrary the “Guidelines for Farm Road development revision 2013” states that proposed farm road must serve at least 20 households for one km of farm road which is one of the main screening criteria.
With the budget from GDG if to proceed with the farm roads then the amount of only 20 lakhs for the two farm roads is very much insufficient and is likely to cause the landslides and erosions in summer seasons with difficulty to ply for the vehicles having only the first cutting and it is to result with more bane than boon.
On the other hand it seemed also for the farmers in a dire need with the cash crops and vegetables they grow and the farm roads are the only prioritize in the wish list than any other activities.
So at the time of the Hon’ble MP Dasho Yogesh Tamang’s, Kilkhorthang-Mendrelgang Demkhong visit to Gewog on 17th September and after having shared these issue, Dasho on his part asked the Gewog to apprise the Honorable Minister Agriculture during his visit to Tsirang for further clarification. Until such time the utilization of GDG fund is to be kept in abeyance.

By Lobzang Choda
R/ling GAO

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Profile of Kilkhorthang Gewog

Kilkhorthang is the most developed and commercial gewog in Tsirang Dzongkhag. The gewog is located in the heart of Tsirang Dzongkhag with an area of and has altitude, which ranges from 900 to 1600 meters above the sea level with hot summers and cold winters. The gewog consists of five chiwog Dekiling, Sathsangma, Tashiyangong, Nyzergang andMenchuna. It has a total 479 Households including Non Registered (NR) with population of 3194 Consisting of 1582 Male and 1612 female. The forest coverage of the gewog is 60% of the land area. The gewog has seven Gewog Tshogde members consisting of five Tshogpas, Gup and Mangmi with five polling stations.

The Dzongkhag Administration headquarters, Dratshang, the Damphu General Hospital and Damphu Town, the commercial center of the Dzongkhag, are all located in the gewog.

In terms of development facilities, there is one Out Reach Clinics at Nyzergang Chiwog, two community schools at Nyzergang and Tashiyangong, one community center, Multipurpose Hall. All the villages are connected with electricity and telecommunication facilities. The Wangdue Sarpang Highway together with Salami to Dunglagang feeder road provides access to most of the villages. Almost all the Households’ benefits from having access to pipe water facility, the gewog has one poultry cooperatives, one Gonor Thuenkey Detshen, community forest Group and five vegetables group in five chiwogs. The gewog has 25 irrigation channels with the length of 49.48 kms. In terms of Religion and Culture the gewog has one lhakhang in Satshangma chiwog and Chukhor at Nyzergang Chiwog.

Agricultural land use is dominated by wetland and dry land cultivation. The principal crops grown are paddy and maize. Mandarin dominates other cash crops as the main source of cash income for the farmers. The gewog is one of the highest mandarin growers in the Dzongkhag.

By Damcho
Kilkhorthang Gewog, Tsirang

Friday, 5 September 2014

How monitoring of developmental activities are done in Gewog?

In gewogs, there are monitoring committee to oversee and guide the developmental activities. The monitoring committee in the gewog comprises of Gewog Administrative officer, Respective extension officers, Gewog Accountant, concern Tshogpa and site engineer. 

When we go for monitoring we inspect the quality of work, progress of work, availability of raw materials at site and the no. of labourers at work place.

After monitoring the project, we submit a report to the Gup and in case if there's a delay or the result/work is not up to the par, we inform the Dzongkhag Monitoring committee and contractor immediately.

Though Tshogpas are part of monitoring committee and are guided by GAOs, they can’t always monitor the project properly. It is because of lack of technical knowledge.

Rural Water Supply Scheme and Irrigation manual work are done by the public with technical support from Dzongkhag. Sometimes without man power and lack of public participation, it not only hampers the quality of work but there are also delay in completion of work. With only one technician looking after many gewog projects, it makes even more difficult for developments to take place properly. 

The system of monitoring also differs from Dzongkhag to Dzongkhag. In some Dzongkhag they develop a standard monitoring format and it is used by all the gewogs. 

Whenever, the Dzongkhag monitoring committees come for monitoring they inform the gewog administration in advance and one representative from the gewog will be involved in monitoring.


Before joining this profession, I despised the job of Gewog Administrative Officer (GAO) and whenever I encountered the GAOs earlier, I found them not so dignified. It could be of the post they hold as GAO or of the rumors that GAOs have not much work to do at their offices in the Gewogs and learn nothing. Rumor has it that all they do is drink alcohol and waste time playing and loitering around. There were also controversies of GAOs not being in terms with the Gups (local leaders). And finally they were also believed to be the residues of the BCSE (Bhutan Civil Service Examination) at that time.
 Well I decided to join this profession after not being selected for the post of immigration officer in which I was ranked third but only two slots were available. Although I still had a choice to join other agencies as I was in the waiting list category having passed the BCSE, and also to re-enter my ex profession as a teacher with my little experiences I had, my patience of having to wait and rejoining old professions seemed to be exhausted from the frustration of not being selected for the post of immigration officer. It was a job I thought that best suited me. I began to realize that in life we are compelled to compromise our choices with fate. It seemed to me that fate overrules and is unfathomable. Joining this profession was a blend of encouragement and discouragement from my relatives and friends. Finally I made up my mind to give it a try and with a heavy heart, I signed and filled the RCSC form for this job. I selected Tsirang for my placement and precisely at Rangthangling Gewog which earlier was named as Chaunetai. We were fortunate enough to have got the preference to mouth the Gewogs and the Dzongkhags of our choice, the reason being fewer candidates and more vacant posts.
Thus, Tsirang was the best place I could opt for as it was centrally located with moderate climatic conditions.
Now it’s been little more than four years since having been appointed and also working as the GAO of Rangthangling Gewog under Tsirang Dzongkhag and I had come to know that in reality it’s just the reverse of what I had in my mind - the job is a one man job with daunting and challenging with the Administration task and more of other tasks too. We have to be a planner for the Developmental activities in Gewog, a procurement officer, a Tshodrung in the GYT (Gewog Yargye Tshogdu-a highest level decision making in the Gewog), and a clerk writing numerous official correspondences and jotting down the minutes of a meeting and also have to be a guide and a reference person for the important officials who visits Gewog. We are also the member of very important committees and standing committees formed in Gewog like the Tender Committee, Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, Dispute Committee and other standing and Adhoc committees. We are also a resource person for the Gup, a Mentor and an advisor for the GT (Gewog Tshogdu) of various Government policies, (the financial rules, procurements rules, Community protocol etc) and various Acts and the Rules and Regulations which are endorsed annually and some amended. We are also able to make the suggestions and feedbacks  either in the form of verbally or in writing with the Parliamentarians about its Acts which is to be further debated and discussed before it gets endorsed.
 And to name some the GAOS also have a pivotal role in Gewogs as the Gewog focal persons for the Gyalpoi Zimpon’s Kidu, Disaster, Waste Management and RENEW.  It is here that we play a vital role to stop or to prevent the issues of domestic violence by advocating and sensitizing on issues of Domestic violence, the need to refrain being violence and also briefing of its Act.
We are also the Gewog Registrar for the Farmers Group and Association and as Asst. Deputy Chief Co-ordinator at the time of elections, the post which although is a third in rank of the hierarchy from Dzongda and Dzongrab yet in actual we are to manage the pots, firewood, manage an accommodation or prepare temporary shelter and arrange the porters for officials yet it is a satisfaction after the successful completion like a landslide winning candidate for the important Elections of a nation.
Numerous meetings have had to be held on different occasions. And besides, there are various duties or roles performed and assigned for the GAOs. With decentralization to the Gewog level the focus has increased further with more roles to play henceforth .So it is a worth giving a try.

And it is Indeed a very beautiful  statement from the Hon'ble Nangsid Lyonpo and Secretary, MOHCA of the closing remarks & keynote address for the Administrative officer's symposium,(April 2014) ''as a frontline development worker and to work first hand with people right at the start of their carrier''


Thursday, 4 September 2014

Farm road survey for Dekling Chiwog

Farm road survey of 1.5 km in Kilkhorthang Gewog under Tsirang Dzongkhag was completed. Th farm road connects Dekiling, one of chiwogs of Kilkhorthang gewog  and Satshangma Khakhang, benefiting around 60 household. 

At the time of survey, many beneficiaries gathered and were fully involved in fact much excited to receive the farm road in their chiwog, which they were dreaming for quite sometime. 

Their Agricultural land use is dominated by wetland and dry land cultivation. The principal crops grown are paddy, maize and mandarin. The farmers are using old method of technology in their filed, with the coming up of farm road they are hoping to use modern technology like power tiller which is much easier, time saving and can enhance their source of income.

Although public were much excited and happy we came across lot of disputes within beneficiaries with regards to boundary alignment and that's the main challenges we face at grassroots level but with proper guidance and advice from the Gewog Administration and some Goshey Nenshey of the village 

The gewog Administration will be proposing the farm road budget from Small Development Project (SDP) in the financial year 2014-2015.

Dekiling is one among five chiwogs of Kilkhorthang Gewog under Tsirang Dzongkhag. The chiwog has approximately 1400 population with a household of 224 including 31 Non-Registered.

Damcho Lhatsho
GAO of Kilkhorthang Gewog