In­au­gu­ra­tion of hous­ing project in Phuentshol­ing

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Thin­ley Choda/ Pling

Ly­onch­hen Dasho Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay, con­se­crated and in­au­gu­rated the ‘ Spe­cial Af­ford­able Hous­ing Project’ un­der the Na­tional Hous­ing De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Lim­ited ( NHDCL) in the pres­ence of Ven­er­a­ble Tsu­lag Lopen in Phuentshol­ing on 29th of July, 2018.

The project en­vis­aged by His Majesty The King was ini­ti­ated to ad­dress the acute short­age of af­ford­able hous­ing in Phuentshol­ing.

The con­struc­tion of the Spe­cial Af­ford­able Hous­ing Project be­gan in July 2016.

The Phase- I of the project will house to 160 fam­i­lies. The PhaseII and Phase- III of the project will be com­pleted later this year with ad­di­tional 346 units. The phase- III project will con­struct 62 build­ing with 506 hous­ing units.

Ly­onch­hen met the staff of NHDCL and the con­trac­tors in­volved; and thanked them for work­ing hard in or­der to com­plete the project on time.

Fi­nance min­is­ter Ly­onpo Nam­gay Dorji, Chair­man of the Spe­cial Hous­ing Com­mit­tee; of­fi­cials from Chukha Dzongkhag and Phuentshol­ing Thromde at­tended the pro­gram.

All 506 af­ford­able apart­ments un­der NHDCL ‘ af­ford­able hous­ing project’ in Phuentshol­ing will be al­lot­ted to Bhutanese liv­ing across the bor­der by next month.

NHDCL of­fi­cials, dur­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the first 20 build­ings on 29th July, said the flats would be al­lot­ted through a lucky draw to en­sure the al­lot­ment is fair and trans­par­ent.

Of­fi­cials said that af­ter the al­lot­ment next month, the 20 build­ings with 160 units in­au­gu­rated on 29th July, would be im­me­di­ately pro­vided for oc­cu­pancy. The re­main­ing 346 units from 42 build­ings would be pro­vided to ten­ants by Novem­ber this year as and when they are ready.

There are 62 build­ings with 506 units at 10 dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions. The gov­ern­ment pro­vided Nu. 890M for the project.

An of­fi­cial of NHDCL said with var­i­ous records from Phuentshol­ing Drungkhag, Thromde, and Bhutan pop­u­la­tion and hous­ing cen­sus data, they are do­ing a phys­i­cal ver­i­fi­ca­tion of Bhutanese liv­ing across the bor­der by vis­it­ing the houses and au­then­ti­cat­ing the records.

Start­ing July 19, 2016, un­til Jan­uary this year, about 1,259 peo­ple have ap­plied for the flats.

The 160 units in­au­gu­rated re­cently are clas­si­fied as cat­e­gory four and three. Each flat in both the cat­e­gories has two bed­rooms, a liv­ing room, and a kitchen. How­ever, the cat­e­gory three apart­ments have two toi­lets, while cat­e­gory four has one.

Rents for the apart­ment ranges from Nu. 4, 000 to Nu. 7, 000 de­pend­ing on the sizes of the rooms that vary from 500sq. ft to 700sq. ft and 950sq. ft.

Ac­cord­ing to NHDCL of­fi­cials, the apart­ments pro­vided at af­ford­able rent would ac­tu­ally cost Nu. 14, 000 to Nu. 15, 000 a month in the mar­ket.

Mean­while, the sec­ond phase of the project, which has about 136 units, would be com- pleted by Septem­ber this year. The third phase that has 210 units would be com­pleted in Novem­ber this year.

The hous­ing cri­sis is one of the big­gest prob­lems in Phuentshol­ing.

A Bhutanese res­i­dent re­sid­ing in Chi­nese lane, Phuntsho Dorji, 42, said, “Peo­ple liv­ing in In­dia are mostly of low in­come fam­ily or peo­ple who are bur­den with the in­flated rates charge by build­ing own­ers in Phuentshol­ing.”

He added that few peo­ples are ready to pay what­ever the owner charge and some are even ready to give ex­tra rent that is why it’s caus­ing in­fla­tion for house rent and caus­ing chaos to av­er­age Bhutanese fam­ily.

An­other Bhutanese res­i­dent re­sid­ing in Baubazaar, Chimmi Dema, 34, said, “Be­fore I use to live in lower mar­ket side where I used to pay Nu. 6, 000 rent per month but af­ter 2 years the owner start charg­ing Nu. 8, 000 per month but I still stay there. The fol­low­ing year, the owner again in­creases the rent to Nu. 10, 000 which was be­yond my ca­pac­ity thus I had no choice but to va­cate the house and live here in neigh­bor­ing bor­der area.”

She added, “I have been look­ing for the house in Bhutan since I shifted here in Baubazaar side but with vain I still can’t find an af­ford­able house in Bhutan. Ei­ther the rent is too high or there is no avail­abil­ity of house in Phuentshol­ing.”

“I think our con­cern au­thor­ity should look into the mat­ter of house owner charg­ing rent as per their wish. There should be cer­tain fixed so that the ten­ants wouldn’t face any dif­fi­cul­ties,” said Kuen­zang Wangmo, a ten­ant re­sid­ing in Phuentshol­ing.

She added the con­cern au­thor­ity should also look into the mat­ter where few peo­ple who is will­ing to pay ex­tra rent and cre­at­ing in­flated rent.

Lack of space is an­other prob­lem in Phuentshol­ing. How­ever, with the lo­cal area plan com­pleted, many pri­vate de­vel­op­ers have started to con­struct houses.

Dasho Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay, Prime Min­is­ter con­se­crated and in­au­gu­rated the ‘Spe­cial Af­ford­able Hous­ing Project’ un­der the Na­tional Hous­ing De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Lim­ited in the pres­ence of Ven­er­a­ble Tsu­lag Lopen in Phuntshol­ing.

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