Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A grassroots look at the Shingkhar golf course

Photo: Internet

As one born in the sanctified valley of Ura, Shingkhar is just like my other village. Every time I’m on a break, I find time to visit the beautiful valleys, mountains, rocks and streams of Shingkhar. 

However, the distinctive living style and beautiful scenery of this little Switzerland is changing swiftly. I am really confused with the topical dialogues of ‘Golf course at Shingkhar’ and ‘Shingkhar-Gorgan road’. I am really in a dilemma. However, as a concerned Urap, many questions arise in my mind. 

The proposed golf course at Shingkhar had aroused all the bigheads of Ura to come together. The most universal basis for rejecting the inventive proposal is because the people in the vicinity of the proposed area seem to be very much fretful about the green politics. And I am no exception. 

They are worried about their pastureland, agriculture fields, and even suspicion on the assured advantages, mostly on job opportunity and business scope. But, is this concern much from the village people, who will be directly affected? Are these the assumed qualms of some native academic? Or has the view of bigheads lured the innocent village people? 

Most of the residents of Shingkhar, irrespective of qualification, have agreed that there will be vast adverse affect on environment and bionetwork. I too agree that. But my question is: are Shigkharpas really conscious about nature? Why does nobody object to the Shingkhar-Gorgan road that will run through the core of Thrumshingla national park? 

To worry about their pastureland unquestionably confirms their love and care for their cultural heritage. They don’t want the paradise of their yaks to be blemished for modern innovation. But, how many Shingkarpas own yaks today? For how long do their yaks graze on the landin-question? Are Shingkhar youth willing to preserve yak herding culture evermore? 

Undeniably, such innovation will take away much of the Shingkharpas’ agriculture fields, which have been inherited from many generations. As far as I know, agriculture is the backbone of their source of income. But, what best crops grow on the flat terrain of Shingkhar? Does agriculture alone can keep Shingkharpa’s store full? Or is it time to look for some alternatives?

1 comment:

  1. Sangay I appreciate your concern for the issues of shingkhar and your critical views. However I think I have to differ with you on few observations you have made.
    Here our discussion is on two issues the golf course and the road.For me they are two different development options with with different fringe benefits for the people, therefore it matters.
    Road is a necessity while the course is a luxury.When Bhutan is networked with road shingkhar aspires to be hub not just a reach road destination. As you have rightly observed for a place like shingkhar the only crop is potato cultivated on a commercial scale, therefore connecting with Lhuntse a fertile warm place is a scope for inter-region trade on food.
    As the road has passed the village since the 1990's without any encroachment the agricultural land very trivial disturbance of pastoral landmass.
    On the other hand course has more undesirable implications in the future than the seemingly feeble good impacts.However there's no ruling out that there will be little bit of sacrifice in terms of environmental degradation for an inevitable future that Shingkhar aspires.
    Any ways i appreciate your effort to balance the opinion on the two.