The long awaited Local Area Plan (LAP) for Lhayulkha town in Haa is one step closer to implementation, with the draft almost approved.

On receiving final approval on the LAP from the works and human settlement ministry, municipal officials in Haa will carry out demarcation of the plots, said municipal engineer Sangay Drakpa.

Dzongkhag officials said planning for Lhayulkha town in Haa began sometime between 2005-2006, following which two secondary roads were constructed and several streetlights were installed. Official records of Haa dzongkhag show that the new town was envisioned in 1986 along with the dzongkhag structural plan.

Recently, municipal officials held a public consultation with thram holders of Lhayulkha town to discuss the final LAP draft. Concerns included shifting of roads and drains from the designed plan, municipal officials said. This was because the road in the earlier plans fell on private land.

The municipal engineer, Sangay Drakpa said that while it has not yet been finalised, land pooling is likely to include around 26.2 percent of the total land area from each landowner. Municipal officials said there are more than 22 thram holders in the new town plan. Including government plots, existing structures and private plots, the town will have more than 393 plots in total.

Sangay Drakpa said that verification of the plots is ongoing, after which a report will be submitted to the National Land Commission for approval. Following the National Land Commission’s approval it will be submitted to the ministry of works and human settlement.

If the ministry approves, National Land Commission officials will visit the town  area and carry out plotting to issue individual thrams, he said.

Meanwhile, municipal officials said their target is to include the town’s development in the 12th Plan and complete development within the Plan. Although budget is available for local area planning, more money will be required for demarcation work.

Dawa Gyelmo