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Gomtu’s satellite town development: a long wait and housing shortage

Plans to transform Samtse’s Gomtu town into a satellite town have faced significant delays, resulting in slow development. As a consequence, the town has been grappling with a pressing housing shortage. Concerned about the situation, the issue was raised during the recent Dzongkhag Tshogdu session.

Phuentshogpelri Gup Robat Lepcha expressed his concern over the lack of progress in transforming the settlement into a satellite town.

“Plans to develop Gomtu town have been in place for over 20 years now. But we have still not seen any changes. And now that people are not allowed to construct houses in Gomtu, we are facing a severe housing shortage,” said Robat Lepcha, Phuentshogpelri Gup, Samtse.

In response, the district chief district engineer said sub-leasing of current Gomtu town areas to private individuals by the Penden Cement Authority Limited is the main hurdle to development.

As of now, 28 private individuals have constructed permanent structures in the town area.

“We are waiting for the issue of subleasing PCAL lands to the 28 private individuals to be solved first. Until then we cannot start the town development works. It would be better if PCAL and the NLCS sort out the issue soon,” said Kinley Dorji, chief district engineer, Samtse.

The district engineering sector, however, informed that they are seeking a resolution to this challenge, closely working with relevant offices and awaiting a response.

The members resolved to communicate the outcome of the session to relevant authorities and seek solutions to address this issue at the earliest.

According to Gomtu residents, they have not been granted permission to construct new buildings in the town area since 2013.

Although there are no official records, Gomtu town is believed to have been established in 1984.

Passang Dorji, Samtse

Edited by Sonam Pem