English | Dzongkha Sunday, June 16, 2019

New Thimphu bus terminal plan in limbo

Kinley Dema, Thimphu
Mar 31, 2017

The plan to construct a new bus terminal in Olakha is still up in the air as Thimphu Thromde and the land owners remain at loggerheads over several land related issues.

The new bus terminal plan was unveiled way back in 2004. More than 13 years later, the plan hasn’t made much headway. Thimphu Thromde is still trying to push through the project.

Thromde and the land owners are at a negotiations stalemate with disagreements over land acquisition and compensation being the main sticking points.

The land identified for the new bus terminal construction belongs to 30 people. Dorji is one of them. He says Thromde wants to acquire the land on lease but this is something he cannot agree to.

“I told them I have never heard of something like this. What if they claim the ownership four to five years later saying enough money has been paid?”

Dorji says they proposed for land compensation in cash at the market rate or to be provided with land replacement in the core town area. But Thromde turned down both the proposals. “Then, the Thromde forwarded the matter to the Lhengye Zhungtshog who ruled in our favour saying the rights of the land owners must be protected.”

Dorji says he is now considering demanding compensation for not allowing them to work on their land for so many years. Tashi, another land owner said he will not accept land compensation if it’s far away from the core town area.

Thimphu Thromde, however, argues that the demands made by the land owners are not in line with the land compensation provisions in the land act.

“The act clearly states that if somebody has no land in Thimphu Thromde, he or she will then be eligible for a plot in the town as compensation. But I think most of the land owners have land in the city,” said Thimphu Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee.

Some land owners also claim that the Thromde did not consult them about the bus terminal plan. But Thromde denies the allegation. Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said it’s possible they did not turn up for the consultation meetings.

“Planning and meetings took place ten years ago. Now, when we are trying to implement, they have problems and are objecting.”

Thimphu Thromde, however, is hoping for a breakthrough soon. It is exploring possibilities of providing land compensation in the core town area. The Thromde is eyeing land belonging to Dratshang Lhentshog.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee says a proposal has been submitted to Dratshang Lhentshog and they are waiting to hear from them.

If this does not work, Thimphu Thromde will have to put its plan for the new bus terminal on hold until it reaches an agreement with the landowners.







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