…𝑷𝑫𝑷 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑩𝑻𝑷 𝑼𝒏𝒗𝒆𝒊𝒍 𝑷𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒔 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝑨𝒊𝒓𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝑷𝒆𝒎𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒕𝒔𝒉𝒆𝒍, 𝑷𝒓𝒊𝒐𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒛𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑭𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝑨𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝑬𝒏𝒔𝒖𝒓𝒆 𝑷𝒓𝒂𝒈𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒄 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑹𝒆𝒔𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒄𝒆-𝑬𝒇𝒇𝒊𝒄𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝑫𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒑𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑬𝒂𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒏 𝑹𝒆𝒈𝒊𝒐𝒏
In a recent public debate held on December 28, candidates from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP), both contesting from the Nanong_Shumar constituency in Pemagatshel, expressed their intentions to explore the feasibility of domestic airport projects in Pemagatshel that would benefit six dzongkhags of the eastern region.
Pema Wangchuk from the People’s Democratic Party outlined the party’s commitment, stating, “The construction of an airport aims to provide benefits not only to Pemagatshel but to all six dzongkhags in the eastern region. The proposed facility is envisioned to be advantageous for both the local populace and the tourism sector. Although the feasibility of a large airport is uncertain, the objective is to create a medium or small-size hub similar to Air Transport Regional (ATR).”
Similarly, Yeshi Jamtsho from the Bhutan Tendrel Party also pledged to identify and explore the possibility of building airports in Pemagatshel that would benefit the six eastern dzongkhags.
However, during the debate, Pema Wangchuk raised a pertinent question about the specificity of the airport plans. He inquired, “Your manifestos contain information about building an airport, and my doubt is that since there are different types of airports. Will the airport be for big planes or medium-sized ones, or will it be a helipad for helicopters?”
In response, Yeshi Jamtsho clarified, “For helicopters, we have a manifesto to build a helipad for each gewog. Regarding the airport, our manifestos do not explicitly mention building one, as we are currently assessing the feasibility. Constructing an airport involves a significant investment of time and resources, and we need to evaluate whether it is viable given our economic considerations.”
Pema Wangchuk explained his concern, stating, ‘The reason for asking about the airport plan is that their manifestos contain the building of a helipad, which I consider to be not essential, as helicopters can land in various locations.’
Yeshi Jamtsho responded, “Our manifestos do not explicitly mention the airport, but we have firstly decided to assess its feasibility.”
As the political discourse unfolded for eastern Bhutan, the emphasis on feasibility studies underlines the pragmatic approach adopted by the political candidates in addressing the complex and resource-intensive task of airport development.
Similarly on December 29, candidates from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) in the Menjey Constituency of Lhuentse Dzongkhag pledged to enhance the development of the Gangola-Lhuntse Highway.
Candidates from the Gangzur-Minjey constituency emphasized the urgent need for infrastructural development in Lhuntse, pinpointing the deteriorating condition of the Gangola–Lhuntse highway. They vowed to prioritize the refurbishment of this critical road.
Loday Tseten, representing the Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP), outlined the party’s vision. In the event of BTP assuming government, the party commits to supporting the private sector and Cottage and Small Industries (CSI) businesses by lowering loan interest rates. Additionally, BTP aims to empower the youth through diverse training programs.
Tseten further revealed BTP’s plan to establish the Bhutan Idea and Innovation Bank. This bank is specifically designed to assist individuals with promising business ideas lacking sufficient investment, fostering entrepreneurial ventures.
Contrastingly, Chimmi Dorji, a candidate from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), proposed initiatives for the advancement of Lhuentse Dzongkhag and the nation. PDP plans to kickstart the Khoma Chhu Hydro Project and revive the Central school, ensuring uniform educational opportunities for students nationwide.
Chimmi also committed to supporting farmers in the Gangzur–Minjey constituency, facilitating the sale of their agricultural and dairy products both locally and beyond. Furthermore, in an effort to reduce reliance on chemical fertilizers, BTP aims to amend existing laws and promote organic farming through vermicomposting. BTP intends to provide comprehensive training on vermicomposting practices to encourage its adoption.