27-28 September: A team led by the Hon’ble Sanam Lyonpo, Samtse Dasho Dzondag, representatives of local government and officials from the Department of Forests and Parks Services visited various surface collection and dredging sites at Samtse and Phuentsholing (Pasakha and Toorsa).
Lyonpo met the public at Norbugang gewog in Samtse to discuss about the public clearance for dredging works at Diana and Dipu Rivers. During discussion, the public insisted that four of the eight new allotted sites should be kept for community contractors. Responding to the concern, Lyonpo shared a site may be allotted to each community but the communities must undertake the work themselves and should not sub-contract it. Lyonpo also reiterated that such resources are nationalised and therefore communities should not deny clearances. “If the work is required in the interests of flood protection and as long as environment management plans define requisite mitigation requirements. Lyonpo also met with forest officials at Samtse and Gedu.
About 24 new sites with a total area of 442.44 acres have been identified in Sarpang, Gedu and Samtse for surface collection and riverbed materials dredging works. The Department called for applications earlier this month to offer services on a first come first basis.
During the 30th Lhengye Zhungtshog (Cabinet Meeting) held on July 8, the government approved the proposal to allow the ongoing surface collection and dredging activities in allotted sites to continue.
Reported and Photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICTD
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