Yangyel Lhaden

Thimphu thromde is going to conduct inspections within the thromde for unauthorised construction projects or deviations from approved drawings from November 7 of this year.

According to thromde officials, a flat penalty of Nu 20,000 will be imposed for construction that does not have prior approval from the thromde.

They also said building owners who fail to comply with the notice from the thromde to remove unauthorised structures will be served a further two notices.

“The first notice of 10 working days will be issued. If owners fail to comply with the notice, the second notice of five working days will also be issued,” an official said.

According to the official, building owners failing to clear unauthorised structures after the notices will be dealt with as per the Development Control Regulation (DCR) 2016. Penalties might include withholding the occupancy certificate for the building and other service clearances.

He said that although the thromde had been vigilant about unauthorised construction projects that have been appearing across the city, they couldn’t conduct routine monitoring due to the pandemic, which caused a surge in such structures. “We are in the process of deploying more manpower to carry out the inspections.”

According to the official, the thromde hoped building or plot owners would take full responsibility to clear such unauthorised construction projects. “The thromde would like to remind all plot or building owners, as well as designers and site supervisors, to abide by the rules and regulations as per the DCR 2016.”

The DCR 2016 outlines the duties and responsibilities of the developer or building or plot owner. It states that the developer shall not cause or allow any deviations from the approved drawings during the execution of the project against the instruction of the architect, engineer, site supervisor, clerk of works, or structural designer, and shall bear all responsibilities for any irregularity committed in the use and function of the building or its parts for which the approval has been obtained.

Earlier this month, the thromde also announced the decisions of the first and second thromde tshogde conducted on June 7 and September 10, which stated that the thromde would do away with the application fee of Nu 150 for an occupancy certificate and the Nu 50,000 security deposit for building approval.

It also stated that the security deposits collected so far would be refunded.

A thromde official said all existing and future jamthogs (attics) will now be regularised as per the circular issued by the Ministry of Works and Human Settlements.

The notification also states jamthogs can be used as independent units but cannot be used as entertainment centres. “Building owners should have uniform green roofs for residential buildings and red for institutional buildings.”

Edited by Tashi Dema