Although Thimphu Thromde finalized its plans to relocate the fuel depots in the city to locations outside the core town limits, however, it was not able to acquire the land belonging to the Tashi Group despite numerous discussion and consultations between the two.
Thromde’s chief urban planner, Thinley Norbu, said, “We tried to negotiate with them but they are not cooperating. So now, we have to acquire the land as per the Land Act because we are doing this for the benefit of people, and we know that traffic congestion in Thimphu, particularly in Norzin Lam, has become worse and risk of accident will be catastrophic in the core area where the fuel depot is located.”
According to Thimphu Thromde, “Thromde has tried to negotiate with Tashi several times but we were not able to convince them. So, we will have a last discussion with them in December, and even if they don’t agree, we shall acquire the land according to the Article 142 and 143, Chapter 7 of the Land Act of Bhutan 2007, which states the government may acquire a registered land for public interests and the government may provide substitute land or cash payment or both as compensation”.
He said in the Thimphu Structure Plan (TSP), the location where the Tashi Groups own the two plots has been identified as Green Space System (G2) precinct for core gateway project. Thromde has proposed to relocate the portion areas towards the south only accommodating fuel pump and station.
“The existing BOD depot at Lungtenzampa is designated as Green Space System (G2) precinct to accommodate core gateway. The location can have core gateway to greet visitors and decongest the traffic at all times, which is inevitable, being one of the busiest junction with cars coming from five to six directions,” Thinley Norbu said.
He further said, “Tashi is not willing to give up the land because they are worried that it might affect their business, but we can assure them that their business will not be affected, and Thromde’s plan to relocate the fuel depot will not only decongest traffic in core areas but also benefit people by saving their time and money.”
Thromde’s chief engineer said, “One of the major project in the 12th Five Year Plan is redesigning of Lungtenzampa Bridge, and in order to redesign the bridge, we need to relocate the fuel depot at Lungtenzampa because without that, we cannot work on the bridge.”
Tashi Dorji, 27, who works with Penjore Construction said, “We strongly support the Thromde’s plan to relocate fuel depot because I feel that the traffic congestion in core areas are mainly because of BOD depot at Lungtenzampa and its relocation is mandatory to reduce congestion in the area.”