Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Phrumsingla National Park (PNP) scapegoats the locals...

file photo: The stretch of rocky terrain in Sumthrang
disturbed in 2013. If not Sumthrang temple, in hands of PNP
it must have been met with a greater damage.
“In 2013, a combined attempt from dzongkhag, gewog and PNP to demarcate the nye failed to materialize, with objection from people based on the letter that barred collection of boulders even on private land.” This is quoted by Kuensel as said by an official from PNP.

I would like to elaborate it because PNP uses that line as it scapegoats the local people. It would tell you how PNP lured the local people into their side of the story.

 1. PNP have said the same line to the locals during that attempt. The officials then had said: "if it were to protect the nyes around sumthrang no one shall be allowed to extract any stone from any where, even from the private lands." This has implanted fear in the minds of illiterate villagers making them join their lot.

2.HRH's kasho never says that no extraction shall be allowed from within the Sumthrang, But restricts allowing to extract without proper assessment༼རང་དགར་བཏོན་མི་ཆོག༽ since sumthrang is surrounded by sites and stones of cultural importance. For instance, when the Pangkhar-Shingkhar road was constructed, project wanted to take the road from above the za yungdrung: the rocky terrain that resembled like swastika. Yet, because of this kasho, the project consulted with sumthrang temple and worked a wonderful way out by protecting the za yungrung and the cliff that lie above which have khandroi dhayigs on it. Now the road run below the za yungdrung, whith out having to disturb the cultural site and not having to stop the road.

Well to explain the points, in 2013, as mentioned, it is again Sumthrang temple that has to intervene into a similar case, because the same person who has been repeatedly extracting stone from the area of nine holly spring sources at Khekharti has prompted his marital relatives building house to excavate the very pristine, environmental heritage of sumthrang, a stretch of rocky terrain with a stream flowing from underneath located in the village. Yes it is full of huge wonderful rocks. It is disturbed. Around this same area is also plenty of stone from where stones for any domestic use can be extracted.

Therefore, Sumthrang temple intervened to stop the extraction for the benefit of: 1. the village and its surrounding because if that rocky terrain is allowed to extract every one even a stone mines company would be interested. 2. To also protect the local cultural heritage object, a flat rock known as the Dangbi Doshey within the rocky terrain which fall very near to where the extraction has began. 3. It is indeed, if true environmentalists visit and comment, is an environmental heritage site that needs protection.

So as the temple intervened and tried to object and reason the PNP, it rather backfired on the one who is trying to protect the site. In fact, the park coerced  the locals to object the temple's reasoning to protect the very own heritages of the people of Sumthrang just because they want to defend the mistake they have made. And they now continue to make the same mistake.

The team as is mentioned by the PNP in kuensel, has come to resolve the issue but rather ended up dividing the community into two. At the site the PNP manager and the then Cultural officer has said, “if nyes are to protect no one shall be allowed to extract any stone from any where even from their private land.” This very sentence is the reason why locals objected because they feared they would not get stones for their fields and gardens to be fenced. And PNP proudly uses it in the kunsel that its demarcation of a vast area of over 200 acres as a nye conflicted with people’s interests. I am surprised that PNP officials could stoop that low. 

Sumthang Chojey has responded at the site saying this is not what the HRH’s kasho meant. He had then said, only the actual cultural heritage sites and objects are to be protected. He also has explained that if a rock in a private land is a ‘nye dho’ or a stone of cultural significance that is to be protected without restricting farm activities in the land or tilling of anything out. He has also pointed out that there is no point  in not to allow doing anything in a private farmer’s farmland if it is has no environmental or cultural heritage to be disturbed or destroyed. The officials had paid no attention to it, rather made that same comment because the officials had thought this could provide them the public support, because, today these same official/s are found using their same tactic for a shadow to hide publicly. It showed how much they wanted the heritage site around Sumthrang be damaged. I sometimes had to wonder if it is the government's policy and directives because the government officials are responsible.

It is shameful of the officials, the park must be doing the job of proper protection and management of environmental resources, because the people there are paid to do the job of environmental conservation and protection. They should be taking the lead to manage it in the best way they are trained in. 

The park should be promoting conservation but It has been as far as I know promoting destruction of anything of such kind, atleast around Sumthrang, while the park came down hardly on sumthrang Chojey for using his garden walls for construction of a temple toilet in 2014.

I pity the donors of PNP if any, because I am wondering if the funds provided to are actually going to the right objective because the management is considerably weak and corrupt in terms of conservation efforts in this sense. 

I still can not stop wondering why PNP make this very person dpractice destruction of sites of cultural and natural importance whiley they put camera traps to nap others or summon and harras those farmers who do tilling in their fields with no impact on anything. Well I would like to make it clear that if park manages its job like this, even if I were that same person, I would have taken the advantage. Therefore, the person is not to be blamed, it is the corrupt management practice of the park that needs to be weeded. 

It is for public to analyse. I truly wonder what PNP is up to or if they really want to destroy Sumthrang’s cultural and natural sites, they need not have to use a proxy person to do so. We would have no reason to object if a BG-excavator is employed to do the job.

1 comment:

  1. A big concern around all the locality...need to preserve.