Shopkeepers operate from their homes 

Choki Wangmo | Tsirang

Around 50 plot owners of Lhamoidzingkha town in Dagana are waiting for land ownership certificates, while trying to settle in shelters at a temporary location. The old town was dismantled in November last year for new township development.

However, most of the shopkeepers couldn’t yet move to their temporarily allotted plots between the army camp and hospital due to the shortage of construction materials and labour.

A resident said that the construction at the temporary town is slow, with only about 25 percent (seven plot owners) of the shopkeepers having completed the construction in four months.

“In the original location, the plot has been demarcated and allotted. But we did not get the ownership certificate yet. The area is a mess,” the resident said.

A businessman in the town, Dilip Mukhia, plans to move into the temporary town after two weeks. Meanwhile, he is running his grocery shop from a garage in his place. 

He said that there were rumours that they would get the lagthrams after three months. “The new town development might take about two years.”

With the onset of summer season, some residents are worried about how they would be able to operate the shops which are mostly built with CGI sheets.

A vendor who recently moved into the shelter, Lhakpa Wangyel Sherpa, said that in summer, the heat is intolerable and the monsoon is heavy, with erratic electricity supply.

A resident said that after identifying the temporary location, old structures were quickly dismantled, which the demolition works, he said could have waited until people received the lagthrams. With the current pandemic situation, he said it was challenging to start the construction any time soon. “The current condition in the town is pathetic.”

Lhamoidzingkha Drungpa Kinley Dorji said that the survey team along with officials from the National Land Commission Secretariat had completed the demarcation of 51 kidu plots. Once the lagthrams are issued, construction in the new town would then begin. However, he said that it was uncertain how long the construction in the new town would take.

According to the residents, Lhamoidzingkha is one of the oldest towns in the country.