Kanglung township planning has been in the offing for eight years now but it still has not seen the light of day and the community has no access to municipal services whatsoever.
The residents are concerned if the town planning would actually come through although this has been discussed in the Gewog Yargay Tshogchung(GYT) and Dzongkhag Yargay Tshogchung(DYT).
“The issue was discussed in the last DYT session in December,” said Kanglung gup Kinzang dorji.
However, according to the home and cultural affairs minister, Lyonpo Minjur Dorji, the government will look into it seriously during the 11th five year plan.
“Kanglung is recognized as an education hub and Yonphula airport is already established, therefore, the growth of the town can be expected,” said Lyonpo Minjur dorji.
He said that instead of concentrating on smaller area pockets, it would be better if the town planners could look into the entire area starting from Yonphula till Kanglung Middle Secondary School.
The works and human settlement ministry (MoWHS) had already prepared a structural plan – the overall vision of the particular set of settlement, in 2008 but it did not work out since a structural plan should be supported by at least one or two local area plans (LAPs) which did not materialize. The overall plan identifies the water source, major roads and some land uses while local area plan means the detailed study of the structural plan.
Urban specialist from MoWHS, Meghraj Adhikari, said that at least for the economically active area, one should prepare a local area plan.
“For that we need a lot of information, particularly the details of land but we were not able to get the required information,” he said. However, the National Land Commission (NLC) had not conducted the cadastral resurvey when the town planners were ready.
Till now, the ministry has not received any information from NLC and the dzongkhag.
To establish a town, plans should align with the cadastral resurvey.
However, according to the Kanglung Gup, the cadastral resurvey was conducted in 2010 and land has already been allotted.
“At the moment, the ministry has only nine to 10 urban planners and that too distributed in regions and headquarters,” he said.
Another limitation was that parliament has not yet approved the yenlag thromdes while “Kanglung did qualify to be a yenlag thromde,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kanglungpas are disgruntled with the delay.
“Had there been a proper town, the community would have had proper water facilities with attached indoor water meter,” said the Kanglung gup.
At the moment, the water is directly supplied from the source which is mostly wasted and misused.
On top of that, Kanglung does not have street lights and proper drainage system.
“At the moment Trashigang municipality manages the waste disposal in Kanglung community,” he said.
Further, the community was restricted from constructing buildings with the delay in township.
A widow from Kanglung said that she had collected all the building materials before her husband’s death.
“Still, I can’t construct the house since there was confusion because the LAP is not yet complete.”