Flashflood damages properties of Phuentsholing NHDCL tenants

Flashflood damages properties of Phuentsholing NHDCL tenants

Tenants unsure of compensation

The heavy rainfall in the second week of July, which triggered flashfloods in the southern part of the country, damaged infrastructure and properties. The torrential rain that pounded Phuentsholing led to a flashflood in the early morning of July 13, affecting some of the tenants of the National Housing Development Corporation Limited (NHDCL) colony badly.  As people rise back, they are not sure if the affected ones will be compensated or not.

The heavy monsoon rains made streams above the NHDCL swell. It flooded and entered the ground floors of NHDCL buildings, destroying the tenants’ properties.

Rooms and parking spaces also flooded. Concerned authorities were at the scene and took stock of the damages. Though there were no reports of human casualties and buildings collapsing, five buildings were severely affected as per the preliminary report of NHDCL.

The chief executive officer (CEO) of NHDCL, Rinchen Wangdi said that 10 families in the colony require relocation, “since most of their properties had been damaged.”

NHCDL with support from Phuentsholing Thromde, relocated affected families at Phuentsholing Lower Secondary School temporarily.

The family of Kinley Namgay living in NRDCL’s SB13 building, the ground floor couldn’t recover any of his properties. Electronic items; fridge, television, washing machines and others were submerged. 

Kinley Namgay’s wife said that her family lost belongings worth about Nu 0.3 million and is worried about where they would be relocated when school resume after summer break. With five family members, she said that they cannot be adjusted anywhere and need a separate house.

As a temporary measure, the affected families were asked to stay with relatives. But Kinley’s wife said, “I have no relatives in Phuentsholing.”

Coming from a low-income group, Kinley’s wife is concerned if the family will be compensated or not. 

Similarly, the family of Amrita Moktan staying in flat 1, SB13 is one of the worst affected. She could not save anything from the flood.

She said that electronic items including the wardrobe and bedroom are under the debris. “We could save only the clothes we were wearing,” she said, adding her family is unsure if concerned agencies will compensate.

Most of the properties of Tandin living on the ground floor of SB12 are also submerged. She said that residents should be shifted to some other stable houses as the current flat is prone to floods.

Tshering Pemo too lost almost everything, which included a television, washing machine, showcase, dressing mirror, floor carpet, and furniture. Living currently in a temporary shelter, she said that no one has mentioned compensating for the damaged properties.

Another resident, Rinzin Wangchuk could save most of his properties. But, there is no place to keep his belongings. He has had to do this by storing his electronic items in the same house, above the water surface, and keeping some at a neighbour’s place. However, he said that properties worth about Nu. 20,000 have been damaged.   

Dhan Kumar was lucky enough for he could save most of his belongings. However, he is unhappy saying that the concerned authorities were informed of a possible flood last year only. He said that concerned authorities were informed of the dangers and that if a proper wall was constructed, the flood would not have diverted to the housing side.

Nonetheless, affected family members thank NHDCL, Thromde, Dungkhang, and the people for the solidarity displayed. They have been informed that concerned authorities will discuss the matter and look for relocation before the damaged houses are repaired.

Meanwhile, an official from NHDCL said that the office is taking stock of the damages.

The NHDCL has built 1,000 affordable rental housing units in Nganglam, Phuentsholing, Samdrup Jongkhar, Samtse, Thimphu, and Trashiyangtse with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Sangay Rabten from Thimphu