People in Wangduephodrang won’t have to travel all the way to the Capital anymore, to appeal for land kidu. On Thursday His Majesty the king granted land kidu to individuals for 8211 land cases amounting to 1989 acres.
It included 5,077 cases of excess land which accounted to 782.5 acres of land while 905 cases of khimsa (166.75 acres) and 1845 cases of encroachment on state land and excess land which was surrendered during the new sathram compilation in 2000 amounting 761.9 acres of land.
There were also cases which involved Dratshang land and community and private lhakhangs which accounted to 252 cases amounting to 276.6 acres. His Majesty said that the excess land cost shall be waived while those individuals who had already paid the cost of excess land would be reimbursed.
The total cost of excess land in Wangdue amounted to Nu 28.4m which accounted for 2752 acres however including chuuzhing, wet lands accounted to over an astounding 7610acres.
His Majesty said, “I am providing this land as kidu so that your lives are made easier and in the hope that you will utilize this land to bring great benefit to the lives of your children and grand children”. He said that when travelling around the country and meeting people; from amongst all that he saw, the overriding lesson was that land is the most important asset of the people.
HM also said that the important duty he has to ensure is that all Bhutanese possess adequate land and shelter considering the fact that 81% of the land in the country has been set aside as areas for forest ,biological corridors and national parks. He said, according to experts only about 7% of the national land is arable.
Around 350 people which included dzongkhag officials, Local government heads, retired civil servants and retired military personals attended His Majesty’s address at the Tencholing military training center.
A villager from Phibjikha geog, Phub dorji said “I am very astounded and grateful that all the lands are now being returned”. He was one of those who had an excess land of about 90dc and was asked by the government to pay Nu 9000 however he failed to meet the deadline and the land was removed from his thram. There are many similar stories of farmers who were not able to pay for the excess land they had encroached on.
The dangchu Gup Sonam dorji said that his geog too had many similar issues as well which gravely affected the morality of villagers to prosper but now after his majesty’s generous grants have rejuvenated people’s spirit. One of those was a 70yr old ex-army man Tshering Dorji from Gaselo who will also be waived off the cost he was supposed to pay for the excess land.
Apart from that during His Majesty’s tour of Lhuentse and Monggar and parts of Trashigang and Trashi Yangtse, in a total of 38 geogs, there were 29,125 cases of excess land amounting to 40, 053 acres. Kidu was granted for all these land owners amounting to Nu 659 million.
His Majesty also talked about the importance of Local Government. He said local governments are not the smallest or the lowest form of government, he said “it is the most intimate and closest form of government for the people “.
His Majesty also mentioned the importance and efforts he had been stressing on building a stable democracy, he said “my reign has been defined by the responsibility entrusted in me by my father, in introducing and building a strong foundation for democracy”.