Shingkhar-Gorgan Road III

Agreed. Roads to Merak, Sakteng, Gasa and Laya are happening for the first time. But so is the Shingkhar-Gorgan road happening for the first time for the gewogs of Metsho and Jarey, two of the poorest gewogs under Lhuentse district. And I marvel at how you confidently proclaim without any basis that the other roads will be cheaper. And even if it is cheaper the other roads just benefit a community of a few thousand, while the Shingkhar-Gorgan road benefit the whole of Lhuntse, Trashi Yangtse and even the other eastern dzongkhags. Roads, everywhere, are “basic necessities”. I challenge you, it might cost more to built a road to Jarey and Metsho gewogs connecting from the present Lhuntse road and ultimately benefit only these two communities while Shingkhar Gorgan road will not only benefit these two gewogs but the whole of eastern Bhutan. If Jarey and Metsho are gewogs, so are Merak, Sakteng and Laya. Everyone will and should get a fair share of development but everything cannot happen at the same time.

Yes I agree we shouldn’t be stuck talking about the past but what guarantee is there that these environmentalists have really woken up? Maybe they are just shouting in their dreams and then go back to sleep again. And in the process jeopardize an important development project. Stopping a project to protect the environment is like putting everyone in jail to stop crime! Close the roads to stop traffic jams! No! Instead, built the road and in the process put all you have learnt, share your expertise with the government, work as partners. Fortunately, there are enough mistakes to learn from! Our environmentalists are supposedly super trained and super exposed. As per RAA report, they are the ones who have availed most training and travel abroad. Isn’t it time and opportune that they now put their skills at work? Sacrifice a few trainings abroad and visit the construction site as frequently as possible. Advise the government. Point out the flaws. Offer solutions.

Agreed that the humble dwellings of our Kings are a matter of choice and not compulsion. Agreed that it is precisely for this reason that our monarchs are held in such high esteem and reverence. But when were our ministers deprived of that choice? You talk as if the only other choice apart from a mansion is a hut or a bagho! Are ministers barred from being held in high esteem and reverence?

And I am marveled that a decent dwelling for our donors and the SAARC leaders is something over and beyond the Taj, Aman and the tourist standard hotels! A decent meal is a seven course meal in the Taj and Aman! The only other option being kharang and joktang or a delicacy all the way from Lhuenste! Wow! If this be the case, I pray that we don’t have to organize another high level meet here lest we land up building a mansion each for the MPs as well!

As citizens we don’t dictate the government what to do and what not to do. If things don’t go right, it is not you or me who will be held accountable. At best, if things don’t go well, we would be more than happy to criticize again. Our responsibility is to suggest and not to impose. After consulting and taking in views from all sections, it is up to the government to take the decision which, in its view, is the best. If the government takes an arbitrary decision all together, yes then we have the right to question. If the proposed plan makes no sense at all, then we have the right. If it benefits only a few industrialists and upper class, then we have the right. But in this case government has been very forthcoming to views and suggestions, requesting environmentalists to come forward to work together and that too to uplift the lives of thousands of people who live in poverty.

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