Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

Preparation of Changshingpeg and Naling local area plan (LAP) in Mongar town was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to dzongkhag officials.

They also said the first public consultation meeting is likely to take time.

Dzongkhag officials said they gathered data for the two LAPs and also notified people to conduct the first consultation meeting on December 24 last year, but could not conduct the meeting because of the second national lockdown.

Officials from dzongkhag human settlement sector said when the consultation meeting was planned after the lockdown was lifted, the public gathering for LAP review was restricted due to Covid-19 protocol, delaying the plan.

An official explained some plot owners reside outside Mongar.

Officials said it has now been deferred until further notice due to Covid-19 protocols.

According to the urban planner, Thupten Losel, besides meeting restrictions, some plot owners were in high-risk areas.

Officials said at least three consultation meetings with the plot owners were required to be conducted before the demarcation is done and submitted to the works and human settlement ministry for LAP approval.

Mongar town consists of four LAPs. While the core town LAP has been already developed, LAP development in Trailing and Jarungkhashor area are underway after its approval last year. Gyalpozhing town LAP was approved in 2015 and development works are also underway.

Plot owners who are willing to construct in their respective plots are waiting for the LAP to be approved soon as much as Mongar residents anticipating construction of additional buildings in the town to help address housing issue and control exorbitant rent.

A civil servant who rented a house at Kilikhar, which is 5kms away from Mongar town, said it’s difficult to find an apartment in the core town area and other nearby LAPs.

Residents said private plot owners or government agencies should also construct houses to reduce the rent in the locality.

Meanwhile, there are 148 registered plots in Changshingpeg and Naling LAPs.

Edited by Tashi Dema