Thromde: More than two decades ago, Nudungmo’s husband bought a small piece of Land in Changzamtog, Thimphu from his friend Chimi and started constructing a hut.

But before he could finish constructing the hut, he passed away, and the burden then fell on Nudungmo’s shoulders.

Along with four other huts, the Thromde yesterday demolished Nudungmo’s hut where she lived for 26 years and raised three children.

“This was anticipated and we already moved our things to my relatives’ place,” she said. “But we had bought the land.”

Chimi, who sold the land to Nudungmo’s husband, also owns a one-storey mud house adjacent to Nudungmo’s. He says that his wife inherited the land but never got an ownership certificate despite several attempts.

His house is also on the list to be dismantled. The pending court case on the land has saved it yet. “But if I lose the case, I have to vacate and dismantle the house.”

Thromde’s chief urban development control officer, Thinley Norbu, said that the five houses are on the government land.

A notification to dismantle was issued in June last year.  Thinley Norbu, however, said that thromde even extended the deadline to December.  Again, thromde extended the deadline through a notification sent on January 20.

“They had no land ownership certificate,” said Thinley Norbu. This was bound to happen. Thromde had to demolish the houses.

“If we don’t demolish the houses, people will occupy the houses again,” said another thromde official. He said that such structures will grow overnight if not controlled.

In less than a month, thromde has dismantled nine houses. While doing so, officials are faced with many challenges and many shy away from initiating such activities.

For instance, the Thrompon and executive secretary always has an excuse whenever structures have to be demolished, an official said.

While rules mandate that on such occasions, the team should comprise of all division heads led by the executive secretary and Thrompon, there are usually just about two officials, said a Thromde official.

By Tshering Dorji