…𝑬𝒏𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆𝒅 𝑺𝒂𝒇𝒆𝒕𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝑹𝒆𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑬𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒐𝒎𝒊𝒄 𝑩𝒐𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝑷𝒆𝒓𝒊-𝑼𝒓𝒃𝒂𝒏 𝑻𝒐𝒘𝒏, 𝒂𝒔 𝑺𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒆𝒕 𝑳𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒔 𝑰𝒍𝒍𝒖𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝑺𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒎𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒈 𝑪𝒉𝒊𝒘𝒐𝒈
In an effort to enhance safety for residents and foster development in the peri-urban town of Sonamthang, the Ngangla Gewog in Zhemgang has installed street lights at Sonamthang Chiwog. This initiative has benefited 114 households and over 1000 people residing in the populated area of Zhemgang, including civil servants and local residents.
The installation of street lights is a new endeavor taken up by the 3rd Local Government (LG) after recognizing the importance of community safety and amenities in peri-urban areas. The Gewog administration carefully prioritized this activity based on population size, location significance, and future prospects.
The Gup of Ngangla Gewog emphasized that the installation of street lights is paramount for ensuring the safety of commuters, including highway travelers, residents, and students. Moreover, the presence of street lights is expected to boost economic activities in the local business community, encouraging more people to engage in healthy night walks and promoting an active lifestyle.
Dorji Wangchuk, a 28-year-old graduate student, expressed that residents of Sonamthang Chiwog are relieved with the installation of street lights. The presence of street lights effectively addresses safety concerns, especially during hot summer days when the risks of snake encounters are high. Moreover, with Sonamthang Central School located in the area, students benefit from increased safety during the night, especially when they get late from school.
Karma Jamtsho, a teacher at Sonamthang Central School, said that the installation of street lights has been incredibly beneficial not only for the students but also for the teachers. Since most teachers reside away from the school compound, the streetlights have provided a sense of security, especially after night study duty. In the past, they had to worry about wild animals and snakes during their travels, but now, with the well-lit streets, the area has become much safer for everyone.
Jampel Yeshey, a 37-year-old painter living in Sonamthang, emphasized the positive influence of the street light installation on local farmers. He pointed out that the presence of street lights has been highly advantageous for farmers in the area, as it effectively deters wild boars, reducing their destructive impact on crops and rice fields. ‘Our residents no longer need to worry about wildlife destruction, and the incidents of such destruction have significantly reduced compared to the past,’ added Jampel.
Furthermore, Jampel also expressed his appreciation for the street light installation and emphasized the significant benefits that an extension of the streetlights till Panbang Drungkhag would bring. He highlighted that Panbang is merely 2 kilometers away from his place, and with the streetlights extended, he and others without vehicles would feel much safer walking to Panbang during the night. This extension would not only enhance safety but also facilitate easier access to nearby areas for those who rely on walking as their mode of transportation.
The Gup clarified that while the Gewog administration has successfully initiated street light installations in Sonamthang Chiwog, the same cannot be implemented in Panbang town immediately. Panbang’s structured town planning requires internal road construction to be completed first before installing street lights. The Gup said that any hasty installation without proper planning could lead to the wastage of funds. Panbang town development has been included in the 13th Five-Year Plan, and residents are hopeful that amenities, including street lights, will be forthcoming soon.
The installation of street lights in Sonamthang peri-urban town marks a significant step towards ensuring safety and fostering development in the community. With a thoughtful approach to budget allocation and planning, the Gewog administration aims to create a safer and more vibrant living environment for its residents.
The Gewog administration has allocated financial resources to ensure the successful implementation of the street light project. Thus far, they have invested Nu. 1.8 million, and an additional budget of Nu. 2 million has been set aside for continuing the project in the current financial year.