Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

The Mongar dzongkhag administration dismantled a two-storey structure constructed attached to a four-storey building in Mongar town on July 3.

The building, commonly known as round building, is located at the entrance of the town from Gyalpoizhing.

Officials said that the building owner failed to honour the Supreme Court’s judgment issued on April 27 to dismantle the structure.

The structure was built without the approval from the concerned authority.

Dzongkhag took nearly three days to remove the major portion of the structure. A JCB machine attempted to bring it down for days. Finally, an excavator completed the demolition on the third day.

Following the Supreme Court’s judgment on April 27 to dismantle it, the dzongkhag administration gave five days from the day of implementation order issued by dzongkhag court on May 5. Then it was extended until June 30. 

However, the family members of the building owner said they requested an extension until October in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic and risk of slide given the peak monsoon season to dismantle it manually.

The building owner Tashi Tobgay, said when the dzongkhag team headed by dzongdag came with a bulldozer to dismantle in May, he requested for an extension until October. They gave him only one month.

So he said he appealed to the higher authorities since June 10.

The two-unit structure was built in 2016 in the family plot without approval from the dzongkhag.

The dzongkhag legal officer filed a case at Mongar court, and in 2017, the court ruled that the defendant had constructed the extended structure breaching the LG Act 2009 and Bhutan Building Rules 2002. He was also charged with not complying with the dzongkhag’s notifications to stop the construction.

The court ordered the new construction to be demolished immediately. The case was appealed to the High Court and then on to the Supreme Court.

Upholding the judgment of the lower courts, the Supreme Court issued an order on April 27 this year.

Tashi Tobgay said he submitted to the court that he constructed the structure without approval but the dzongkhag did not stop it until the posts and slab for the second floor were done.

“Since there were labourers waiting and when approval didn’t come, we went ahead with the construction thinking that it would possibly get approved.”

He claimed that a provision of the municipality act also allows fines and penalties to be levied without dismantling the structure if it is on private land, and thought this would be allowed.

Tashi Tobgay said the vibrations from the machine could possibly damage the main building and the dzongkhag should take the risk.

Dzongkhag administration officials said they had to enforce the Supreme Court’s judgment and dismantle it.