More than 50 applicants, who received apartments in the newly constructed high density housing colonies, have written to the National Housing Development Corporation Limited’s liaison office in Phuentsholing to take back the apartments allotted to them a few weeks ago.
While more than 20 applicants have swapped their apartments with others in similar colonies, some have asked the office to cancel the allotments in their names.
Citing affordability and long distances than desired, 59 applicants who have received apartments at Toribari have agreed not to stay. Toribari, on the way to Pasakha, is seven kilometers away from the core town which some say is far from their work place. There are 102 units in Toribari, which means more than 50% of the applicants have refused to occupy the apartments allotted to them.
“The problem for me is the distance between my new apartment and workplace. I cannot afford to bear transportation cost daily,” said one of the applicants, Birkha Bdr. He got his apartment at Toribari and he is one among the 59 who desires to move out from their new apartment.
Also, three applicants who have received apartments in the Amochhu colony have also submitted letters to cancel the apartments which they have received through a lucky draw in December last year.
Although the rents are not exorbitant as compared to the private buildings in the town, it is still high for those people who earn less. And for them, the best apartments with affordable rents and convenient living milieus are in Jaigaon in India. The rent for apartments under category three and four ranges from around Nu 3,900 to Nu 6,900 per month.
Leki Wangdi, a driver, refused to move in to his new three-room apartment that would cost him a monthly rent of Nu 6,000. The reason, he said, is because he will not be able to make his ends meet if he has to pay such an amount as rent.
“I am thankful to all the concerned authorities who have thought about us and planned to relocate us from our dingy houses in Jaigaon to new and clean apartments in Phuentsholing, but I cannot afford anything beyond what I have to spend here,” said Leki Wangdi.
He added that his monthly income is Nu 7,500 and he pays Nu 3,900 as rent in his present house in Jaigaon.
“My meager income will fall short if I have to pay Nu 6,000 as rent. Moreover, the new apartment is very far from my workplace and also from the schools of my children. I really cannot sustain my life there,” he added.
Apart from high rent and long distance from the town, lack of proper parking space for vehicles is a problem for a few.
One of the applicants cited this as a reason why he refused from moving in.
So far, more than 20 such applicants have completed exchanging their apartments.
According to the NHDCL’s liaison officer, Sangay Khandu, the cancelled apartments will be given to those remaining applicants who did not get in the last lot.
“We will compile the list of cancelled units and allot those to other candidates,” he said, adding that this decision will be taken by the Special Housing Allotment Committee after receiving all the applications.
He added that of 1,259 applications they have received asking for apartments till January 2019, NHDCL has completed allotment to 506 applicants.
“We have completed construction of 296 units in three different locations; 160 units at Amochu area, 102 units at Toribari, 34 units near Chinese lane, 60 units near FCBL auction yard, 70 units near Drungkhag colony, 80 units at NHDCL’s office,” said Sangay Khandu.
He also said that they are expecting to complete construction of the remaining buildings by March this year.
Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing