Plot owners in Gola town in Samtse are given an additional time extension of two years to complete their buildings. As per the plan which began in 2015, all plot owners in the small town under Tashichhoeling Gewog were supposed to complete their two-storied buildings by last year.
Works to transform Gola town in Samtse, one of the oldest towns in the country began in 2015 with a few of the plot owners immediately starting the construction as soon as they received their land certificate. However, besides the few buildings, nothing much has happened concerning the overall development of the town.
Today, of the 76 plot owners, only 23 buildings are complete.
According to Samtse Dzongda Pasang Dorji, the delay in the construction works was because of the pandemic.
“We have been considerate as it was a genuine reason. As such, we have not pressured them regarding the completion of their buildings,” he said.
Considering the low income and increase in the price of materials due to the pandemic, the dzongkhag administration in its recent meeting with the plot owners extended the deadline. As per the new deadline, all plot owners will have to complete their buildings by August 2024.
“We are hoping the situation will further improve in the coming few months or by the end of this year. Prices of construction materials will come down and we hope the country’s economy also improves. Then, the plot owners, depending upon their capability will have to build a one-storied or a two-storied building in the given period. We are hopeful that the town planning works will begin in the next two years’ time,” the Dzongda added.
Until then, works related to the construction of the town’s basic facilities such as blacktopping of internal roads, installation of street lights, and construction of drainage systems and footpaths will not be carried out to prevent it from early damage.
Plot owners are happy with the time extension and hope to complete their work at the earliest.
“Now that things are improving and COVID is not as severe as before, we feel like we can continue our work smoothly. Until today, COVID-19 has affected the construction works here and many could not begin their work as expected. We feel that we will be able to complete the work in two years,” said Namgay Dorji, a plot owner in Gola town.
“The two years time extension will help us a lot. Many plot owners have not been able to begin their work as most of them have not been able to make a good income due to the pandemic. Moreover, we are not able to get loans easily,” added Tika Ram Ghalley, also a plot owner.
Currently, construction of three buildings is underway in the town while six more plot owners have got approval and are planning to begin the construction soon.
Located in the heart of Tashichhoeling Dungkhag, the town not only attracts visitors from the five gewogs of Tashichhoeling but also other gewogs of Yoeseltse and Sangngagchoeling. While it is not known when exactly Gola town was established, many residents say the town existed before Samtse town which is believed to be established in the 1960s.
Passang Dorji, Samtse
Edited by Sonam