Chencho Dema | Gasa 

For the members of 197 Laya households, Wophu in Gasa will be their winter home after His Majesty The King granted 25 acres of kidu land to the people of Laya gewog.

The new settlement, Layaps say, will take on the appearance of a small town once people start constructing houses in Wophu, located about four kilometres away from the Gasa Tashi Thongmoen Dzong.

Located at an altitude of 3,800 metres above sea level, Laya can get extremely cold in winter.  Layaps migrate to the lowlands in Gasa and Punakha with their cattle and horses where they pitch temporary tents to spend the winter while also trading goods.

 Sr. Planning officer of Gasa dzongkhag, Tashi Dhendup, said the construction will be allowed by this winter. The dzongkhag administration will help with drawing and design of the structures. The Layaps will have to construct their own winter houses.

 A 1.725km approach road to Wophu was constructed with an estimated budget of Nu 9.738 million.

Meanwhile, in the second phase, the dzongkhag administration completed constructing drains with soling of an approach road, water supply and clearing of forest/bushes in around 2,561 acres of land.

The water supply project to channel drinking water at the Wophu Kidu settlement was inaugurated and handed over in April last year. The project was handed to the dzongkhag, Laya gewog, and community for ownership, operation and maintenance of the project.

 Laya Gup Tshewang, who is also the Thrizin of DT, said the people of Laya are eagerly waiting to build houses in Wophu now that a road has been built and a water supply ensured. “The Layaps are grateful to His Majesty The King for the gift,” he said. 

A Layap said that it was challenging for them to get shelter when they visited Gasa and Punakha in winter. “It will be our second home, and I can’t wait to start building as soon as we get the go-ahead,” she said. 

Meanwhile, His Majesty The King also granted similar land kidu at Chhubesa to more than 190 households of Lunana in Goenshari gewog in Punakha in 2019. 

The kidu land has been initiated by His Majesty The King with the vision to improve and sustain the livelihoods of the highlanders.