The price for development

Tashi Wangmo

In what is an example of development requiring sacrifices and sometimes affecting people, Tshering Pelden, 33, from Kanglung and her family are about to lose their land and house, with the expansion of Sherubtse College.

While the government taking over private land and paying or giving land substitutes is not new, the issue Tshering raises is the fact that their land and house was already taken by the college few years back. “Though I am illiterate, I know that for the country and community we have to make sacrifices, which we did few years back,” Tshering said over a telephone interview.

36 decimals of land along with their house were taken over by the college few years back. “We received Nu 18 lakhs, with which we bought 38 decimals of land in another area and built a house,” she said. “But now we have been told that we have to again move out to another area.”

Tshering said that the local government has told them to look for land substitute from within the gewog. “So we mentioned to the authorities four places: one near the hospital; one on the way to Pangthang; one at the archery field in Khangma and near the kuensel office. But we were told that these areas cannot be given and that we have to look for land in other places.”

When asked about the monetary compensation, Tshering said that money does not suffice. “When our land was taken earlier, we were happy. But 18 lakhs was not sufficient to buy the land and build a house,” she said.

Tshering also mentioned that her neighbours have agreed to give their land as they have sufficient land within the area to build another house. “But in our case, we do not have any other land. The land compensation will be got in an area which has no value, commercially and without services like drinking water,” she said.

However, Tshering is pinning her hopes on the Local Government and the Dzongdag. “Our gup has always been helpful. I hope that he will understand our predicament,” she said.

The Journalist could not contact responsible officers for their comments.



The Journalist wishes all the architects of the present and future Bhutan, those who work against all odds to nurture our children and those who are surrogate parents of our children a very happy Teachers Day. The value of Teachers cannot be measured.    

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