Chimi Dema | Tsirang

Tshering Drukpa from Sergithangtoed, Tsirang had a plan to construct a permanent structure on his 33-decimal land in Damphu. That was a decade ago. He had even procured about 10 truckloads of sand, timber and stones besides.

Ten years on, he is yet to begin the construction. Construction approvals were denied for want of local area plan (LAP). Now, all of Tshering Drukpa’s construction materials have gone bad.

The preparation of urban LAP-02 in Damphu town, which extends from the fuel depot to the Damphu General Hospital, spanning over 14 acres, is expected to be completed soon. The areas beyond the hospital to the Namgaycholing Dratshang are designated for LAP-03.

Tshering Drukpa said that he was content with the LAP the municipal has come up with. “I am excited, as I would now get an opportunity to construct a house.”

During the final public consultation meeting on Thursday, principal engineer with Damphu Municipal, Tshewang Tenzin, said that after the approval of LAP by the landowners, it would be submitted to the works and human settlement ministry for endorsement.

Although the construction of public amenities would be carried out in phases, he said that plot owners could begin construction as soon as the local government implements the developmental plans following endorsement by the ministry.

“It is expected to take around two months for the ministry to endorse the plan,” he said, adding that landowners can avail construction approval within two weeks.

The landowners have to pool 27 percent of their landholdings for construction of public amenities such as roads, footpath, walkways and, water and power supplies.

The standard plot size requirement for construction of houses is seven decimal. For those who own plots smaller than seven decimals, they would have to pay to the government for the additional land required for the land pool.

There are 181 landowners.

Unlike the existing town, urban LAP-02 in Damphu would incorporate abundant open green spaces, recreation areas, walkways and stream buffers with plantation. The developmental plan has been also incorporated with two internal roads, primary and secondary highways.

Tshewang Tenzin said that the purpose of constructing two internal roads was to connect to Sarpang-Wangdue bypass road without having to ply over the current road, which passes through Damphu Middle Secondary School.

The preparation of the LAP-02 was initiated since the last financial year. The developmental plan was prepared with the budget of Nu 2.9 million, engaging local planners.

Tshewang Tenzin said that the preparation of the LAP took time due to due to lack of human resources in the Dzongkhag in the past.

Another landowner, Tshering Dorji from Tsirangtoed, said: “Although the preparation took a while, the LAP is well planned, incorporating all basic amenities.”