The construction of one-storied houses in rural settings will not require construction drawings, while the government will provide free drawings for rural construction of two-storied and above buildings. This comes after the National Assembly unanimously agreed to this motion made today by one of the members of parliament. The decision is aimed at empowering rural communities to build high-quality houses and reduce rural-urban migration.
Putting forth the motion, Dewathang Gomdar’s MP Ugyen Dorji, shared that preparing structural drawings for rural constructions using modern materials currently costs around Nu 50,000 to 70,000.
The MP proposed to either annul the requirement of structural drawings for rural house construction or for the government to provide free drawings.
“The rural population is greatly decreasing. After studying, people migrate to urban areas. For those few individuals who are still willing to construct two to three-storied houses in rural areas, the least the government can do, to motivate them, is to provide free structural drawings. If so, rural-urban migration and emptying of rural houses can be decreased,” said Ugyen Dorji, Dewathang-Gomdar MP.
During the deliberations, members were divided in their support to annul the requirement. Many Members expressed a need for modification of the motion. The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport submitted that the Bhutan Building Regulation prioritizes the safety of the people and wasn’t intended to cause challenges. He further submitted that structural drawings are required only for building modern-style buildings and not traditional-style buildings.
The minister also shared that the ministry is already reviewing the Bhutan Building Regulation 2018 and includes the decision to provide free structural drawings for two and more storied house constructions.
“As one of the thuemis said, houses are not to be constructed according to one’s whims. The structure must fulfil minimum traditional house standards. According to experts, there is not much risk involved while constructing one-storied houses. But houses that are two storied and more, will have higher risks. Therefore, structural drawings for house constructions that will be one-storied and less can be annulled,” said Dorji Tshering, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.
After lengthy deliberation, the motion was modified as “The construction of the one-storied building will not require the structural drawings and for two-storied and above buildings, the government shall provide model drawings to the people free of cost.”
The House endorsed the motion with a majority show of hands.
The House also directed the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport to provide these services online including the sample drawings with necessary details and to enhance the services support and monitoring efforts.