Wangdue records more than 100 illegal constructions recorded within road’s right of way  

Road: There are more than 100 illegal constructions in Wangduephodrang, according to the Department of Road’s (DoR) report to the 12th Wangdue Dzongkhag Tshogdue.

Anything, including road, houses, small structures and wall constructed within 50 feet of the road is considered illegal or constructed without approval.

As per the Road Act 2013, no construction is allowed within 50 feet from the highway, as required by the right of way for national highways from the centerline of a road. “Construction of any building, house or any structures are not allowed within the right of way and the department or the local government according to the category and jurisdiction of the road shall carry out the enforcement of the law,” states the Act.

Presenting the report to the DT, an official with DoR, Lobesa, Tandin Dorji said illegal construction is on the rise and has become a persistent issue. “There is a need for every concerned agencies to cooperate and take action,” he said.

Tandin said Thedtsho gewog has the highest with 23 illegal constructions, followed by Bjena gewog with 17 and Kashi gewog with 12 illegal constructions.

While Phangyul and Daga gewog, recorded 10 constructions each, Sephu gewog has seven illegal constructions, and Gangtey and Gasey Tshogwom gewogs have six each. Nyisho gewog has five illegal constructions and Dangchu gewog has four.

“If we could work together, like if the Bhutan Power Corporation deny electricity connection, it would help avoid illegal constructions,” said Tandin. When people were provided with required facilities like drinking water, power connections and others, it helps them continue with illegal constructions.

Any construction falling within road’s right of way has to first get approval from the road department, following which the local government would approve and direct concern agencies for power, water and other services should.

However, DoR officials said although they have not approved the constructions to those implicated in their findings, they have availed themselves of all the services.

Meanwhile the dzongkhag tshogdue decided to conduct a meeting involving DoR officials, the local government and the dzongkhag to discuss on how to tackle the problem.

Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue