Phub Dem | Paro

A farm road was constructed in Chubjakha connecting other parts of Paro dzongkhag to the chiwog and the Tachogang crematorium in 2007. However, a year later, a private landowner blocked the route with barbed wire fencing.

Twelve years hence, the three-and-half-kilometre road to the crematorium still remains closed. 

Families of the deceased have to drive about five kilometres by Dopshari road to reach the crematorium. And drive another five kilometres to throw the remains of the dead in the Pachu. 

According to Hungrel Gup Gyem Thinley, the farm road was a strategic route besides shortening the travel distance. It has a huge parking space along the road. “This road is beneficial to the public.”

During the consultation on the construction of the farm road, the private landowner, Nim Phetu agreed to sign clearance if provided with land substitution. 

Nim Phetu, who lost 22 decimal land to the road construction, said that the previous gup agreed to provide land substitution. “But before I signed the clearance, the farm road construction began,” he said. 

The gewog officials agreed to provide a replacement to another private landowner and Nim Phetu who lost 22 decimals each to the road. 

Although the gewog administration issued a directive to replace the land, the law prohibits giving land substitutes to those used in connecting farm roads, according to Gup Gyem Thinley. 

The gewog failed to provide him with a substitute land and the private landowners blocked the way.

Acknowledging the importance of the route, the Paro dzongkhag administration and National Land Commission supported giving land substitutes to the landholders. 

After a few years, Nim Phetu found out that his land substitute did not have path and was surrounded by other private plots.

“Forget about the road connection my 22 decimal was located in the middle of private land.”

Gup Gyem Thinley said that the gewog administration and land officials went to check the land and acknowledged the issue. 

If the land substitute is changed to a place which has a walking trail, Nim Phetu said that he would open the road to the public. 

“I agreed to give my land for the benefit of the government and people, although it is located near the town area if provided with substitution,” he said.

Gyem Thinley recently requested the Paro dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) to pass a resolution to expedite the process.  

He said that if the land substitute could change as per the request, there won’t be any issues and the route will be open to commuters.

“The gewog has plans to widen the road and apply granular sub-base,” he said.