Neten Dorji | Trashiyangtse

Residents of Doksum town in Trashiyangtse got another 10 months to relocate the town to the new township at Khetshang.

The deadline was extended by almost a year after business community approached the Ministry of Work and Human Settlement (MoWHS) for not being able to shift to the new town.

This is the fourth time the deadline is extended. Residents were supposed to shift to the new township by the end of 2019.

They had previously extended the deadline to December 31 last year after requests for an extension from the public. The dzongkhag administration had extended the deadline thrice since the development works for the new township began in 2013.

In the 40 commercial plots, only six had build structures. It is even worse in the residential plots.  Only three of the 150 plot owners build houses. Currently, constructions of four buildings are going on in new township.

Town tshogpa, Sangay Choida said that they had submitted an appeal letter to the MoWHS after seeing no progress in the new town. “The dzongkhag has extended the deadline, but residents do not have money to build houses.”

He said that it is not that resident are reluctant to start construction.  “Those who could afford already completed their construction.” 

In the past, construction was delayed due to non-availability of timber and inability to get loans from the banks. “Initially, it was water issues at the new location and other basic necessities which is why we could not shift to the new town,” said the tshogpa.

The other reason for the delay is that most plot owners are not residing in Doksum.  Residents claim that those who reside outside Doksum are delaying the plan to shift to the new town.  A resident said that if the government extended the deadline again, people wouldn’t shift to new town. “Plot owners who are out of Doskum have no plans to start construction work.”

 One resident, Dendup, said that all businessmen in Doksum don’t own plots and those with plots have built their houses.

 Meanwhile, those who have completed their structure are worried without businesses moving to the new town.

Chogyal, 67, is worried about loan repayment. He availed Nu 5 million to start construction work. “It took me almost three year to complete the physical structures,” he said.  “There will be no one to rent the house, if the government kept extending the deadline,” he said.

Meanwhile, a letter from the MoWHS states that ministry would consider further time extension of one year till December 31, 2020. “The ministry would not entertain any further request for time extension for relocation of new township,” it states.

There are more than 20 shopkeepers and around 20 residents at Doksum located about 27km from Trashigang towards Trashiyangtse.  It was started as a trading centre for six gewogs of Trashiyangtse in the late 1976.