This means that house constructions, inter alia, can take off after a long dormant spell

Construction: Developmental activities in six constituencies of Samgdrupjongkhar thromde can start with 200 lagthrams (landownership certificate) issued recently.

This means the local area plan (LAP) that had been dormant since 2011 will see construction of houses and other amenities.  The LAP could not be finalised without the approval of landownership from the National Land Commission, which affected the implementation of developmental activities designed under the LAPs, urban planner Sonam Tashi said.

Landowners as well as residents have waited for years to see developmental activities kick off ever since Samdrupjongkhar town was declared a thromde.  The thrompon now has less than a year before the next local government elections.

Covering more than four acres, the thromde is demarcated from Samdrupjongkhar town until Dewathang core area.

The lagthrams came at a time when the Samdrupjongkhar thromde was faced with an acute housing crunch.  Landowners can now start constructions, sell or buy land and mortgage the land for any other activities.  Construction was not allowed without the lagthrams and finalisation of the LAP.

Officials said applications to construct both residential and commercial buildings have started pouring in.  The thromde office has already received about 50 applicants for the building constructions, while about 15 have already started construction.

The recent development, thromde officials said, would help solve the housing problem.

The office used to receive more than 30 applications every year before but had to wait for the approval of LAPs.

Sonam Tashi said, although these 50 applications were approved, the owners had not started the construction owing to the financial crisis. “Looking at the trend, Samdrupjongkhar would have enough residential buildings in the near future,” he said.  The thromde is already in discussions with the housing development corporation to build government houses.

However, another 176 landowners are yet to receive the lagthrams.  It was found about 40 landowners were absent during the national cadastral survey and have not received the lagthram, while the rest have issues with excess or deficit land.

Sonam Tashi said before resolving the issues, the LAPs cannot be implemented completely.

However, he said developmental activities would not be hampered, because areas that did not have issues could continue the activities facilitated by the thromde.

The LAP will provide basic facilities like streetlights, proper drainage and waste, parking, water connection, sewerage treatment plant in each LAP, recreational centres, parks and sport complex.

He said there are also plan to prepare additional LAP in the extended area from Dewathang town after the issues are resolved.

By Yangchen C Rinzin,  Samdrupjongkhar