Planning: According to the works and human settlement ministry, residents of Denchi town in Pemagatshel can construct only double-storey buildings with traditional designs for both commercial and residential purposes.

The residents had earlier asked Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay to allow them to construct buildings higher than two storeys. The township’s business people said that they will be able to provide flats for rent if they are allowed to construct buildings with more than two storeys.

Deputy chief urban architect, Tshering Dorji, said that according to the demographic analysis, the population for Denchi town will be approximately 3,000 in 20 years, which is why plots were developed to accommodate only two-storeyed buildings. That is, he added, considering the town’s carrying capacity of more than 5,000 people.

“The town has the potential to showcase our traditional architecture because 90 percent of our high-end tourists are cultural based,” Tshering Dorji said. “Tourism is one major economy considered for the new town.”

Tshering Dorji said that plot sizes in Denchi is larger compared with those in other towns with 16 decimals demarcated for each residential plot, enough to construct two-storeyed structures.

“This area is approximately the same for three-storeyed buildings in other thromde areas,” he said, adding that the ground floor will accommodate about three shops. “If planned properly, it can also accommodate three units. So they will have ample of space to rent out.”

Tshering Dorji said that the plan has also considered provisions for future expansion if the town faces an influx of people as a result of major projects nearby. The town could be expanded towards the north-west.

Works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden informed the people that the plan for Denchi town is ready and works are ongoing at the site. As of now, water supply is in place; and plots have been demarcated and allotted to the owners. The residents are waiting for their lagthrams.

Residents can start construction after obtaining their lagthrams. There are 49 plots at Denchi, of which, 27 have been allotted to plot owners based on seniority in the first phase. The rest will be allotted in the second phase.

Meanwhile, Pemagatshel town secretary Jigyel Phuntsho said although they have raised this issue in the past, following explanations from the minister and other officials, residents had not  raised it in the recent past.

Yangchen C Rinzin |  Samdrupjongkhar