Struggling with unsuitable lands: Dagala Gewog plea for land replacement

With unsuitable lands, the people of Dagala Gewog in Thimphu are requesting the government for land replacement. The people complain that their lands which are registered as dry lands are neither suitable for agriculture nor for constructing houses. The issue was raised in the recent Dzongkhag Tshogdu yet again.

The people of Badu Zam, one of the villages of Dagala Gewog, owning a meagre two decimals to a maximum of 30 decimals of land, rely solely on small vegetable gardens. However, with no agricultural prospects, they resort to selling timber and relying on yaks.

Some are compelled to rent houses in the town due to unstable marshy land for construction in their village.

“This is my land. I planned to build a house but the land is too marshy for construction. Then I requested a land replacement but it has been more than six years and I still did not get it. Then I wanted to construct a farm road on my land but the government did not allow me to do that either,” said Nima Dorji, a resident.

“Although the land may seem spacious to outsiders, it is actually small, leaving inadequate space between houses if constructed closely together,” said Dawa, another resident.

“We do not have enough land to do farming. Without any other choice, we sustain ourselves by selling timber. We would be grateful if the government looks into it and provide us with a land replacement for the land that is not cultivable or provides us land on lease,” said Kado, a resident.

Other gewogs like Maedwang and Chang raised similar concerns during the Dzongkhag Tshogdu.

“Currently, the government only provides land replacement if the land is washed away by floods or landslides. However, for those with unfit land, the inability to exchange or utilise their plots for construction or cultivation has become a significant challenge, leading to distress among villagers,” said Gado, Thimphu DT chairperson.

The Dzongkhag Tshogdu decided to address the issue by writing to the National Land Commission Secretariat, urging a re-evaluation of the rules and regulations regarding the replacement of dry lands unsuitable for cultivation.

Namgay Dema

Edited by Sonam Pem

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