Certificate: The building owners of the automobile workshop in Olakha, Thimphu appealed to thromde to issue occupancy certificate for the attics.

Of a total of 50 buildings in the area, thromde had issued occupancy certificate to only two. While most of the buildings were built in 2008, it was only in 2009 that the works and human settlement ministry allowed the construction of building attics in the city.

This issue was discussed during the city council meeting on July 22.

The council decided to issue the occupancy certificate on the condition that building owners pay attic regularisation fee ranging between Nu 2,000 and 24,000 depending on the attic size and demolish the illegal constructions.

Thimphu Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that many workshop owners have built structures for car washing and painting without the thromde’s approval and that it would not be appropriate to issue occupancy certificate even after receiving the regularisation fee if the illegal construction are not demolished.

“No occupancy certificates to be issued if the temporary huts are not demolished or if the ground floor is not covered well with a roof,” said Thrompon. “If required, the thromde will make a drawing for the roof shed.”

He added that it is important to see if the attics have standard toilets and kitchens, among others.

While the attic’s heights are appropriate for human habitation, the thromde’s chief development control officer, Palden Khandu, said ventilation and safety issues are some of the concerns.

Kinley, a building owner at the workshop area, said that the attics in the buildings were constructed after having sought the permission to do so.

“Earlier, it was verbally agreed that we could have attics and that we could use it as a store. But the building owners did not get the permission in writing,” he said. “If having an attic in the building was illegal then, the thromde inspectors should have told the house owners at the time of the inspection. Why the issue now?”

Kinley further added that lack of occupancy certificate was a hassle for all building owners when filing annual land and property taxes.

The thromde issues the occupancy certificate after the officials from the thromde’s development control division inspect the building.

The occupancy certificate authenticates whether the owners have deviated from the approved drawing or resorted to illegal construction. Thimphu thromde has approved the construction of the workshop buildings based on a uniform drawing from the economic affairs ministry.

Dechen Tshomo