Tshering Namgyal | Lhuentse

The shopkeepers of Autsho town say they are hopeful of getting plots in the town after Lyonchen Dr Lotay Tshering committed to follow-up with the relevant agencies regarding the long overdue plot allotment of Austho satellite town last weekend during his visit to Lhuentse.

The business community in Autsho informed Lyonchen that the plots in the town could be allotted to them it would enable them to do business in a proper setting.

More than 30 shops in Autsho town are operating from makeshift huts and there are more than 50 business license holders with some households holding more than one license in their family members’ names.

The government approved the Autsho satellite town in 2015.

A businessman and former gup, Tshering Phuntsho thanked the government for establishing Autsho satellite town. However, it has still not developed into a proper town.

“Allotment of plots would benefit us immensely to come up with permanent structures and provide quality services to customers,” he said.

Another shopkeeper, Tshojamo said that those without plots run the risk of being forced out. “Most of the shops are on leased private plots. After the recent announcement from the government allowing construction in the town, plot owners have asked them to vacate for new construction.” 

Lhuentse National Council member, Tempa Dorji, said that the new township would not only benefit the business community but also the pilgrims to sacred religious sites in the dzongkhag and Namdroling dratshang. “The town has only one hotel. During religious events and other times, the businesses provide rooms and other services.”

Dzongkhag officials said of the 164 plots demarcated in the town 40 are on State land, and the dzongkhag is yet to receive an allotment order for plots after submitting documents to the National Land Commission.

Local leaders also raised concern about the delay in developmental activities and resolved to forward the matter to the concerned agencies.

The plot demarcation, road network with the mapping and design, and layout of the town and the architectural aspects were also completed. The lagthrams for more than 80 private land owners were issued recently. With the issuance of lagthrams, a few plot owners have already begun constructing permanent structures.

Autsho satellite town will house different zones like urban core precinct, residential precinct, environmental conservation precinct and open space.

Lyonchen told the members of the business community that he would follow up with the relevant agencies upon arrival at the capital. He said that he would update them with the status in a few weeks.

The town issue was one of more than 80 issues Lyonchen noted during his visit to Lhuentse dzongkhag.

During the week-long tour that ended on July 17, Lyonchen met villagers, civil servants and students and talked about a series of pertinent issues like Covid-19 pandemic, new normal and economic recovery, small hydropower projects, civil and public service reforms including education and tourism policy reforms, ICTisation, economic situation and signs of economic stress, and impact of Russia-Ukraine conflict, among others.