The drive down to khuruthang in punakha, from Gasa will take about 2-3 hours depending on road conditions as it has been raining all night. That is 150 km, back and forth from Gasa (75 km oneway), comparable to traveling to Phuentsholing from Thimphu. Taxis charge Nu.1200 for a round trip per person, Nu.600 oneway for the same distance and it costs Nu.1510 to refill a LPG cylinder (Nu.510 as cost plus Nu.1000 for transporting) even before talking about other difficulties. Bus fare from Thimphu to Punakha is less than Nu.200. Work to complete road to gasa dzongkhag center began with the 1st parliament, and today it has reached the dzongkhag center; we are grateful. It has changed our lives in many ways. However, the convenience of the road remains a distant dream for the majority, without an affordable public bus service, which in turn would made living certainly more reasonably priced and tapping into farm produce market easier.
While a long over due decision of the Government to blacktop the last remaining dzongkhag center in the country, within the next 2 years is a most celebrated news for us, it is still 2 years (and if not completed even longer), a public bus service, not necessarily a daily, will undoubtedly allow individuals to enjoy the road that took great pains in building. We are hopeful it will be completed as promised and that perhaps, the Government can explore resources within and outside, including the park services wherein my constituents live, to start a bus service so that the benefits of the road can be expanded to even more people.
Sharing a letter I had written to the Minister for Information and Communication after a meeting in February. I also took the opportunity to express the same to the Prime Minister during the MTR. I look forward to hearing from the Government on its plans soon.
[Published on facebook on April 1, 2016]