The wait is never ending for the landowners of Toongkudenba township at Panbang, in Zhemgang. They are yet to get the final approval for constructing houses on their plots. The area has been identified as an extended township of Panbang town over a decade ago. Residents say the wait is at the expense of their time and resources.
After Toongkudenba Township was indentified for development as an extended town of Panbang town in 2013, 56-year-old, Drukgyel, worked on constructing a house on his plot in the area.
In 2015, he collected raw materials like sand, timber, and stones. But much to his dismay, without much headway in the town development works, the construction materials remain covered in the bushes.
Drukgyel says the timber he got for construction is rotting. “They should at least build an access road to our plots and tell us when we can start our construction. However, we are kept in the dark” added Drukgyel.
Wangdi Drukpa is another resident who shares similar concerns. “Toongkudenba was identified for town planning a very long time ago but we don’t know what went wrong on the way. We don’t know if there were budgetary issues or other problems.”
Another Panbang resident, Bumpa says the town do not even have access road to reach construction materials. Bumpa added “the area has no basic amenities in place, we can’t go ahead with our construction works.”
At the moment, residents mostly live in semi-permanent houses. Some of their homes have become old and worn out.
Drukgyel said the officials threatened to demolish any structures constructed without approval in the township area. Residents have also been asked not to sell their plots until a directive is given.
The BBS tried to contact officials at the Panbang Dungkhag office, however, they were not available for comment.
It was learnt that the government is yet to give a green light to the residents to start their construction works.
A source said that internal road construction works have been awarded to a contractor and works are expected to begin soon.
Toongkudenba township is about two and half kilometers away from the Panbang Town. It is expected to become a commercial hub for central and eastern Bhutan.
Today, there about 40 households living in the area.
Pema Samdrup, Zhemgang
Edited by Kipchu
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