Survey: National Land Commission (NLC) on February 12 handed over 820 lagthrams to Thimphu Thromde after completion of resurvey of Thimphu Old City (TOC).

So far, 82 percent of lagthrams (ownership certificate)in the core and peripheral areas has been issued.

The survey that started from August 2015 until October 2015 covered eight localities – Kawangjangsa in the north, Nation Memorial Choeten in the south, Motithang in the west and Centennial Farmers’ market in the east.

According to NLC, the survey was conducted to update the thram information, to demarcate the registered properties and to delineate vacant estates for greening and development of amenities within the city precincts.

Although the handing-taking of the lagthrams and final comprehensive survey has been completed, the thromde will provide routine land transaction service. ‘Absentee landowners’ will have to report to the thromde office.

NLC secretary Pema Chewang has asked the thromde to issue public notice stating that no tax will be collected until new thrams are issued. This means, non-payment of land tax for three consecutive years may result in annulment of the ownership.

During the survey, a total of 929.5 acres of land belonging to 1,242 thrams were surveyed.

Pema Chewang said proper strategy, rules and guidelines in place made the survey successful despite skepticisms.

“Land within the TOC being most expensive had to be dealt with carefully,” said Pema Chewang. The survey was conducted only after surveying other parts of the country to give the surveyors adequate field experience.

Before the actual survey was conducted, NLC conducted fact-finding survey in these area between 2009 and 2010 and developed procedures and plans. At least 28 surveyors, four survey engineers and one land record assistant was involved for the survey.

Thromde’s executive secretary, Passang Dorji, said that issuing the thrams will ease pressure from the public. “We hope that NLC will solve the pending issues at the earliest.”

During the survey, 45.5 acres of excess land were curved out in the core city in small patches. There were 147 absentees, two disputed cases, and 13 plots with deficit.

With all the private properties demarcated clearly, NLC feels that this cadastral survey has established strong foundation for effective land management.

NLC will now develop proper strategy to resolve issue of structures overlapping on the state land.

Tashi Tenzin