English | Dzongkha Saturday, August 18, 2018

Plight of Gola bazaar land owners

Dec 22, 2011

Gola town, popularly known as Gola bazaar in Sibsu under Samtse Dzongkhag is considered one of the oldest towns in the country. However, all the plot owners do not have Thrams or land ownership certificates.

There are about 50 plot owners in the town. Most of them have bought the land from the previous owners in between 1960s and early nineties.

Aap Dorji from Haa Sombeykha bought the land along with the house. “I have settled down here, as back in my village, we don’t have access to road, education and health facilities.  But now the government is saying that we have not paid land taxes and that we don’t have Thrams.”

Like him, most of the plot owners share the same fate. Our reporter, Sonam Lhamo, said that some of the plot owners just have an agreement between the buyer and the owner, which is counter signed by sub-divisional Officer of that time.

“With regards to Thram, only government has the authority to issue it. We bought the land and paid according to the government rules. But now when the land re-survey is going on, it seems that we need Thram. It has now become major problem for us,” repents Aap Dorji.

Another land owner, Ranjit Gurung, said that they have been paying land taxes as per the square feet system. “We never thought to inquire about the Thram.”

The Dungkhag office has also no clear records of the plot registration. The only official document is a register book where there is plot owners’ name and the amount of land taxes paid at that time.  The government stopped collecting land tax from 1993 onwards.

Meanwhile, Samtse Dzongda and the Director of National Land Commission met with the plot owners recently. The Director said the issue was not reported only until recently. He said that the plot owners would not be able to carry out cadastral land resurvey in the town, if they did not have Thram. However, the National Land Commission is now looking into the matter.

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