Land: Twelve households of Samrang gewog have been waiting for land substitution for almost a year after the on-going mega farm project took their land.

The farmers, who had to give away almost four-acres of land each, are now worried.

Landowner like Tara Bir Bista, who is residing on government land, said a person cannot cultivate on government land. If land substitution is not provided, he doesn’t know what he will do.

“We understand it’s a lengthy process but we would be grateful if the land commission could approve the land substitution. It’s just a matter of about 48 acres of land,” said Tara Bir Bista. “We’re worried that if we don’t get land substitution, all our hopes will go down the drain.”

Another landowner, Krishna Badadhur, who has been living in Thimphu, said he has been waiting for any kind of information on a daily basis.

“When I went to the village last time to discuss about the issue, I was told it might take a year or two to complete the process,” said Krishna Badadhur.

Gup MB Gurung said that during a consultation meeting, villagers were informed that they would be compensated because the project will have to use the private land that has come under the 800-acre land used by the farm.

He said that the survey has been done and a letter sent to the land commission for approval through the dzongkhag and dungkhag administrations.

“The commission has said that the farm might not need private land and that about 790 acres of government land is enough,” said MB Gurung. “Later, the dzongkhag informed the commission that private land should be used since 800 acres of land is required for the farm and land substitution is important.”

The gup said that since the gewog office has not received any information, the office has been following up with the commission.

“This is why we are confused and worried.” MB Gurung said.

Yangchen C Rinzin,  Samdrupcholing