landlord asked to pay about Nu 9mn to construct retaining wall

The landlord says it is the negligence of the Thromde that led to the collapse of the wall and that if asked to pay the entire amount, he would take the Thromde to Court

The stretch of road from Druk School, Thimphu till the junction leading to Kuenselphodrang is currently closed as part of the road collapsed last month (July).

While the Thimphu Thromde asked the landowner, who was constructing a house below the premise that collapsed to build a new retaining wall, saying that it was the construction of his house that led to the slide of the road.

The landowner says he will take the Thromde to Court if he has to bear the entire cost of constructing the new wall, as it was with the Thromde’s permission that he began construction of his house and that if the land was not stable, the Thromde should not have even given him the green signal to construct his house.

Saying that he does not want to be named, the owner said that the Thromde approved the construction of the house, highlighting that before approval, it is the responsibility of the Thromde to check that all construction activities are safe and that it would not cause damages, like the one that has happened. Additionally, the landowner had written to Thromde about the possibility of such a mishap happens.

According to the landowner, the existing retaining wall was all filled up with soil and it was not that strong. “They had just filled up the rocks with soil so I wasn’t entirely assured of the wall’s strength.”

The letter dated July 13, 2022, addressed to Thromde before he started laying the foundation for his house says, “During the construction, it has been noticed that the retaining wall being constructed by thromde alongside the road is encroaching on my plot.”

The letter also cautions Thromde saying that the “new retaining wall as per the present alignment will have an adverse impact on the proposed building construction as it may cause landslides in the future.”

“Therefore I requested for realignment of my plot so that the change of alignment of my plot will have no adverse impact on any party. However, there was no response at all from Thromde; on the contrary, they gave me the approval,” he said.

According to him, this was how the mishap happened. “After I started the construction, it affected the construction of the new retaining wall and caused the road to collapse,” he added.

From the company that is now building the wall, the paper learned that the total costs for constructing the new wall would be about Nu 9mn. “As a responsible citizen, I am ready to bear half the cost, though I do not need to. However, if the Thromde tells me to bear all the costs, I am going to take the Thromde to Court,” the house owner said. 

Due to Thromde’s extensive requirements and procedures for getting even minor information, the paper could not get any comments from officials of Thromde.

However, a social worker when asked about the incident said that if the house owner had written to the Thromde, it was the responsibility of the Thromde to at least inspect the site.

“I see a responsible citizen in the house owner as he was concerned. But Thromde did not take heed of his words. The Thromde may have something to say, but the main point is that they did not go for an inspection and instead gave permission to construct the house. In the end, it is always the people who lose,” he said.

Tshering Pelden from Thimphu