The land issue

Land is scarce and precious. Those who don’t own a plot are suffering. Those who own are making a fortune.
Land is granted as Kidu only By His Majesty The King. It is the prerogative of the Druk Gyalpo. Other than that, any ownership unless inherited or bought legally is illegal. With a lot of controversies of land acquisition in the periphery of the capital reported by the national media, it is time the relevant authorities do a thorough investigation into the land ownership in the country, especially in the urban areas.
With the value of land increasing in the once villages outside the capital, people, it seems, have acquired land by illegal means, by manipulating even the main thram safely locked in the lockers of the National land Commission. It is good that some concerned citizens have reported to authorities of the shady dealings and illegal land acquisition in the periphery of the capital.
The ACC will investigate and bring people to justice. The arms of the law are long and no one can escape the hands of the law. From the reports in the media, it seems that local leaders had been actively engaged in the land deals. Unfortunately, for the wrong reasons.
Local leaders, gups and tshogpas have no authority to adjust excess land or award land substitution. It is through their shrewdness and authorities’ lack of awareness that many land transactions had happened in the outskirts of the capital. They should be brought to face the consequences. There are reports that some former local leaders didn’t own a plot of land before they become a local leader. Now they are proud owners of several plots.
Authorities should look into these issues seriously and not only depend on complaints submitted to the ACC. For instance, some are saying that name of a plot registered in a Punakha thram is manipulated as in Babesa and local leaders have tried to registered it in their name or their relatives’. These talks could be coming out as investigations are going on. But it is said that, if we do not disturb the dry dung, it will not smell.
The ACC should not ignore complaints thinking they are from many years ago. They are the right authority and should delve deeper. There are also examples of authorities taking advantage of their positions without the power to do so. For instance, landowners in Babesa got their land substitution, for land lost to floods in Punakha, in Babesa. There are rules for land substitution, how it should be granted. Some villagers who lost land to the Punatsangchhu project can’t even get land in the same dzongkhag.
Laws should be fair. It will only gain respect if it is fairly applied. The ACC should look into this. The big question is how did all these happen?

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