Road right of way questioned in the National Council
During the question hour session in the National Council last Friday with the Minister for Works and Human Settlement, Trongsa MP Tharchen enquired regarding the uniformity in the implementation of the road right of way between different Dzongkhags, the need to come up with policy guidelines that harmonizes provisions of the Road Act 2013 with standard requirement for road right of way for Dzongkhag roads and farm roads and the reasons for affected people not being compensated for the entire landholdings.
Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that for structures that were built before the Road Act was passed were allowed to be retained as they were and that people were allowed to cultivate the land within 50 ft on either side of the road. She said that for the highways, 50 ft on either side of the centerline was mandated by the law. Since there was no clear distance from the centerline for Dzongkhag and farm roads, it was proposed in the new rules and regulations to have 30 ft for Dzongkhag roads and 20 ft for farm roads. She said that right of way for farm roads was simply proposed as a guideline since the prerogative to construct farm roads lay with the local governments.
The Minister pointed out that the Government did not have the means for giving land or cash compensations for affected land or structures along the highways. She said payment of such compensations would be considered as and when road widening took place. She informed the House that whenever land problems arose due to road widening, matters were referred to the Land Commission for appropriate action.