English | Dzongkha Monday, July 6, 2020

Compensation to landowners whose lands are in Green and Red Zones

Feb 13, 2020

The National Assembly accepted the motion to pay compensation to affected landowner in urban areas whose lands fall in the Green and Red Zones.

A green zone is an area where constructions are not allowed and the landscape should be left undisturbed while red zone area is a high-risk area that is vulnerable to natural hazards and geologically unstable for any developmental activities.

In Bhutan, no construction and other infrastructure development are allowed in these zones.

As per the Member of Parliament of Chhumig Ura, Karma Wangchuk, despite plans and programmes for balanced regional development, the outcome has not been very successful. This is further inhibited by the zoning of urban areas as Red and Green Zones which prohibits the landowners from carrying out developmental activities and construction of houses.

“We have identified Thromdes across the 20 Dzongkhags where people who have been living for a long time have their ancestral land falling in the zoned areas. And when they plan to build a house, the government has identified that area as a green zone and red zone. And this has restricted development activities and posed problems to the people. They have collected stones and woods to build houses which over time is rotting especially woods. There are cases where people despite having land rents a house. While going around the dzongkhags on tour, we have many people come forward requesting time and again about this. And it is not just one or two dzongkhags but the majority of them face such issue,” said Karma Wangchuk, the Chhumig Ura MP.

So far, people who faced these problems were not provided compensation in any form. Therefore, he put forward a motion stating the government to provide a land substitution to landowners whose lands fall in the Green and Red Zones. The House accepted the motion with majority votes.

He also moved two motions to establish Special High-Level Expert Committee to identify Dzongkhag Thromde and Yenglag Thromde and, to permit landowners to carry out development on the lands which fall in the Urban Red Zone at their own risk. However, both the motions were rejected.

Samten Dolkar

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