Choki Wangmo | Dagana

Plot owners of Dagapela and Lhamoidzingkha towns have received their lagthrams but they are not sure as to whether they would be able to start construction works any soon.

A total of 51 kidu plot owners in Lhamoidzingkha and 332 in Dagapela towns are currently operating their businesses from temporary towns and their homes.

In the past, the plot owners blamed the dzongkhag and the drungkhag for delay in lagthram issuance. However, now they say that they wouldn’t be able to start construction, as they do not have the resources.

A plot owner in Lhamoidzingkha, Leela Bdhr Gurung, said that he has no money to start the construction, as he spent about Nu 700,000 to build a shop in the temporary town.

At the site, it was found that shopkeepers built permanent structures using cement. “If we built structures from CGI sheets or other materials, it cannot withstand the heavy monsoon and heat, he said.”

“I doubt if I will be able to start even within two years,” he added.

Demolished old Lhamoidzingkha town

For the past two months, he had been operating from his new shop.

Plot owners said that with seasonal route to India closed, the transportation cost of materials had also increased.

Another plot owner, Dawa Lhamo Sherpa, said that the start of her construction works would depend on the readiness of her neighbours’, as they have to build conjoined buildings due to small plots allocated.

The situation is similar in Dagapela town. Plot owners who received their lagthrams in February couldn’t start their construction works yet.

Dagapela township development planning works started in 2016.

Shopkeepers who are currently operating from CGI sheet shelters earlier complained about heat and rain. But they are not able to start construction in the new town.

“We do not have the required amenities to start the construction,” one said.

However, Tshendagang Gup Bal Bdr Rana said that the procedures for obtaining building designs and other official documents were underway. “I hope  we can start the construction by monsoon end.”

Spanning over 380 acres, the Dagapela Local Area Plan is composed of three phases.  While Phase I and III are designated for commercial and residential areas, Phase II is identified as industrial areas.

Lhamoidzingkha Drungpa, Kinley Dorji, said that the formalities and structural planning for the new town was completed in 2020.

Each plot owner has 500 sq metre feet of space.

He said that the according to the plan, the buildings will be two-storied. “Once this new town is developed, there are future prospects for the town to become a centre for international trade route.”

He said that it would benefit neighbouring dzongkhags such as Dagana, Tsirang, Wangdue, and Punakha.

Dagana dzongkhag’s principal engineer, Jamyang Dorji, said that the dzongkhag had already issued lagthrams and planning permits based on the application or proposal received from the individuals.

“It totally depends on the ability of the individual to start construction. They have to follow development rules explained during the issuance of lagthrams,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said that the construction of internal roads in Dagapela town is in full swing to ease the transportation of materials to construction sites.