Pema Gatshel, meaning “Blissful Land of the Lotus”, is located in the southeastern part of Bhutan. The Dzongkhag covers an area of about 1022.11 square km with elevation ranging from 220 to 3,500 meters above sea level and experiences an average annual rainfall of 1500 mm to 3000 mm. It shares its border with Trashigang Dzongkhag in the north and north-east, Mongar Dzongkhag in the north and north- west, Zhemgang Dzongkhag in the west, Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag in the east and the Indian state of Assam in the south. 87.65% of the total area is under forest cover, comprising mainly of coniferous and broadleaf species.
The Dzongkhag is divided into 11 gewogs, namely Choekhorling, Chongshing, Chhimoong, Dechhenling, Dungmaed, Khar, Nanong, Norboogang, Shumar, Yurung and Zobel gewogs. The Dechhenling, Choekhorling and Norboogang are under Nganglam Dungkhag which was merged to Pema Gatshel Dzongkhag in the year 2006 from Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag. Further, Choekhorling is the youngest gewog in the Dzongkhag.It was established as per the Executive Order CCM/4/06/432 dated 20/11/2006 issued by the Prime Minister of Bhutan bifurcating from the Norboogang gewog. Unlike most other Dzongkhags, Pema Gatshel is one of the only Dzongkhags with only one dialect. Sharchop is the mother tongue of all the Pema Gatshel pas.
Pema Gatshel has 252 villages and 56 Chiwogs as per the Population & housing Census 2017. There are almost 6,075 regular households and it is substantial increased from 2937 regular household recorded in 2005. The total population of this Dzongkhag is around 23,632. There are 11,922 males and 11,710 are females. The population density is 24 Persons per Sq. Km. There are 99.1% household with access to improved sources of drinking water supply but however 24% households without access to reliable to sources of Drinking water in the Dzongkhag.
There are 389 households are still using fixed telephone line with 149 households with internet accesses as per the Bhutan Telecommunication information report 2018.Gewogs and villages are accessible to mobile services with the coverage of 99 percentages however some villages are partially connected by the mobile network.
Pema Gatshel total road network is around 1035.4 KM including 120.4KM primary national highway (Nanglam to Gelposing & Nanglam to Zhemgang), 128 KM of secondary national highway, and 600.1 KM farm road, 144 KM Dzongkhag road (Gewog connected road or feeder road), & 42.9 KM access road ( including 3km Thromde road at new Dzong Denchi.
For education, there are 4 central schools, 1 Middle Secondary Schools, 3 Lower Secondary schools, 14 Primary Schools, 8 extended class rooms and 12 ECCD centers. In the year 2018, there are 5,868 students, 440 teaching staffs including Contract teachers and Non Bhutanese teachers. There are 48 NFE Centers consisting of 441 NFE learners and 48 NFE Instructors. Dzongkhag literacy rate is 62.9% in May, 2017.
Dzongkhag has 1 hospital, 1 grade I BHU, 11 BHU grade II, 7 satellite clinics, 4 indigenous units and 32 ORCs.
The Dzongkhag has moderate climatic condition and quite hot at lower altitude in summer. Most of the cultivated land is under Tseri or dry land. The maize is the main cereal crops of this Dzongkhag. Other crops like oranges, potatoes and subtropical fruits and vegetables are cultivates in most of villages. The main sources of income for the people of Pema Gatshel are agriculture, livestock and small scale business on consumer items.
The Dungsum Cement Corporation limited, Dungsum polymer limited of Nganglam, gypsum mining and the gypsum power factory at Khothakpa under Shumar Gewog provides employment for skill & unskilled laborers even during off season. This mining industry also contributes sustainable revenue to the government of Bhutan.
Within 10th-11th Five year plan all Gewogs are connected with road and as of now almost 85% of villages are connected with road. Such network accessibility has brought manifold changes in the socio-economic development for the people of Pema Gatshel. Therefore Pema Gatshel Dzongkhag poverty rate reduced more than 100% from 26.9 to 13.7%.
- Total Area (sq. KM): 1060.480
- Altitude Range (M): 220 meter to 3500 meter above sea level
- Total Population (Male):21,707
- Total Population (Female):24,509
- Total Gewog:11
- Total Gewog Center Road (KM):187.800
- Total Farm Road (KM):391.912
- Total Communication Coverage (%):993.900
- Total Poverty Rate (%):27.200
- Total Gungtong:446
- Total Household:5,515
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