The hype created by the prospect of the Gelephu Mindfulness City (GMC) has got many excited. All eyes are on Gelephu as those in the land business,  or those with money, are mulling to make the most out of the plan.

The sale and purchase of land and properties within the planned GMC will be accepted only after undergoing a thorough review for transaction approval. A core working group will review land and property transactions within the planned city  before obtaining approval from the National Land Commission (NLC).

This is to streamline transactions within the GMC and ensure that both sellers and buyers acknowledge and adhere to all conditions outlined in the standard undertaking form developed by the GMC core working group.

There are assumptions, speculations and uncertainty surrounding land transactions not only in the Gelephu Thromde, but almost in all the southern belt as information of the planned city spreads. What the core committee and the NLC is doing should not be seen as an obstruction. Many may not comprehend what is coming in Gelephu and beyond, but it is the responsibility of those with knowledge and information to ensure that the city benefits all, as is the vision.

What is of paramount importance is to ensure that those with money, power and knowledge should not be the sole beneficiaries. We should be mindful that at least those who own land, mostly farmers and re-settlers, should not be robbed of the opportunity. The vision is crystal clear. Every Bhutanese should reap the opportunity of the grand vision of the GMC.

As many try to comprehend the scale of change dawning upon Gelephu and nearby areas, the masses should be protected. We cannot stop people from selling or buying land. What we can do is inform them about the prospects. Even as land and property transactions undergo a scrutiny review; there are concerns. Misinformation, deliberate or genuine, could influence a farmer with huge landholding sell the land for a price that he might regret later.  

There is no reason to rush as the core committee is working to ensure maximum benefits to both sellers and buyers. Many are happy with the information even as they wait for more clarity to decide on buying or selling land.

We are talking of a special administrative zone that we have never comprehended. The idea is that every Bhutanese should benefit from the grand plan. Landowners should not be at the losing end because of speculations.

Those who understand are feeling that their land, small or big, could be used as equity for those coming to invest in Gelephu. There will be more clarity as days go by and decisions are made. What we should try to do is inform the people about the decisions, the advantages and  disadvantages of being a part of the city.