With all but three dzongkhags the National Land Commission (NLC)’s re-cadastral survey in the Country has ultimately reached its end.
The three dzongkhags remaining are Tsirang, Sarpang and Zhemgang.
The head official of the cadastral survey, Tenzin Namgay, said to complete the whole of Bhutan the field components will be compiled by the end of this year and their projected deadline is 2013.
The NLC official said, “The most common dispute is people encroaching into each other’s land and also government land”.
Findings thus-far from the land sojourn reveal that Paro has the maximum number of disputes or disagreements as there is a humungous amount of pending cases.
The survey for rural part of Thimphu was conducted in 2010 but it has just started for the Thromde.
For the areas of Dechencholing, Lungtenphug and Semtokha, survey is completed without any dispute disagreements with land owners.
Nevertheless, the Thromde has to allocate the plots to the individuals and then a re-survey will be done by the NLC, so until that happens, the NLC officials cannot ascertain what sort of disputes may rise.
The surveys in the urban areas are to be done jointly by the Land commission and the Thimphu Thromde.
As of now only three areas in Thimphu has been covered but the NLC official said that, “the NLC plans to cover the whole of Thimphu by the end of this year,” but he added “nothing rigid has been finalized as of now”.
Meanwhile, for other urban towns like Phuentsholing, no plan has been made but the NLC has received some basic details about doing a re-surveying but they are hoping it will be also completed by the end of this year.
During survey, the disputed lands are kept aside until the re-cadastral is done across the country. As a measure to sort disputes, a committee is formed in coordination with the local government of the particular areas.
At the initial stages both parties are advised to compromise the dispute among themselves within 30 days, after which the case is forwarded to the court.
When disputes are not solved at a committee level, the case is forwarded to the NLC. And subsequently it will be forwarded to a high level committee headed by the works and human settlement minister who will decide to put-it up to the Druk Gyalpo.
In 2003 the fourth Druk Gyalpo’s kasho stated that a certain measure of land is to be granted to the individual who has unknowingly established themselves in a part of government land; the tolerance grant is normally 15% of the government land that has been accumulated within the private individual’s property.
It also states that no compensation should be asked from the people. For individuals who encroach into government land either after 2003 or intentionally – a penalty or a jail term of 3 years will be served.
Surveyor general Ugyen Takchu said, “If there is no kasho on tolerance for the particular matter then the option is to demolish the structure”.
The areas in Thimphu which falls beyond Wangchutaba or Changtagang are considered as the rural areas within the Thimphu Dzongkhag hence the individuals having dispute problems doesn’t have to come to the dzongkhag committee unless if necessary.
There are cases where people do not turn up for the re-survey, in such cases notices are sent to the individuals through media. If individuals do not turn-up even after repeated notices then the commission waits for five years after which the thram will be removed as per the Land act of Bhutan and eventually will be taken over by the government.
After the new thram has been allocated the old thram can no longer be valid for getting any approvals for construction works or as collateral for mortgage.
The NLC Secretary Sangay Khandu said if people have issues or grievances on the survey conducted they have the right to approach the land commission for any further confirmations.
“People also have the right to approach the courts as well,” he said.