Lagthram:  With the issuance of new lagthrams (land ownership certificate) to the remaining 10 gewogs in Trashigang, land transactions can now occur in the dzongkhag after being withheld for more than four years.

The land records office issued 15,466 of 15,862 new lagthrams to landowners by mid-February. The pending 396 lagthrams will be issued within the next six months.

Land records officer, Gyembo, said that few pending lagthrams were missing the signature of the Chief Land Registrar, while others did not have the lagthrams printed.

“Owing to the vast number of lagthrams, there were some errors and we hope to issue the pending ones by April,” he said. “There were also cases where land details were mentioned in the thram but not reflected in the cadastral map.”

Although the office received new lagthrams in the second week of November, Gyembo said there being a number of holidays in November and the National Day celebration in December issuance was delayed.

“Therefore, we could start issuing lagthrams only by the first week of January,” he said. “We have also forwarded circulars to the gewogs stating that land transactions can begin from March 1.”

Mangmis from the 15 gewogs of Trashigang were recently also trained on handling land transactions. They are now working on sensitising villagers.

Local leaders said they will be able to settle any land disputes, in particular land inheritance cases, once people start visiting the gewog administration.

“Villagers couldn’t divide their land within the family members because they had to wait for the new lagthrams; some were not willing to divide. We now hope to settle such cases,” Shongphu Gup, Kinzang Wangdi said.

Apart from a few thram transfers and fewer dispute cases, he said there would not be much sales and purchases of land taking place in the villages.

Samkhar Gup, Sonam Dorji said they are expecting more constructions to come up because a lot of people could not avail the timber grant without lagthrams.

“With the lagthrams issued, people would not only be liable to claim for timber grants, they would also have easier access to loans. Construction activities are bound to augment,” he said.

For the other five gewogs, 4,606 lagthrams were issued in 2012 while 66 pending lagthrams will be issued soon. Lagthrams for Wamrong, Trashigang and Rangjung thromdes were also issued recently.

By Tshering Wangdi, Trashigang