The residents of the housing colony of the National Housing Development Corporation Limited (NHDCL) at Toribari in Phuentsholing still feel that the rents are exorbitant and if they could be lowered.
Since the area falls under the rural area, the tenants feel that their rents should be lower than that of rents in the core town area. They say they pay equal to those residents residing in another colony near the Chinese lane in the main town.
Around 102 tenants had moved into the apartments at Toribari in January this year after NHDCL allotted apartments to them through a lucky draw basis.
The residents say that residing at Toribari, which is more than seven kilometers away from the main town, also had other difficulties such as additional transportation costs, absence of continuous drinking water, dusts from the road below and the foul smell from the Phuentsholing Thromde’s landfill.
Travelling by a taxi would cost Nu 50 per head per trip from Phuentsholing to Toribari and the rents for a family unit range from Nu 6,637 to Nu 6,700 per month and Nu 3,950 to Nu 4,250 for a bachelor’s quarter.
“We have to pay equally like those residing in the main town area despite having numerous challenges. We incur additional expenses in travelling daily. Looking at all the issues, we request the management to look into the rent,” Sangay Chophel, a tenant said. “If calculated properly, residing here is more expensive than residing in the core town area.”
Meanwhile, most tenants at the housing colony comprise people from the middle and lower income group, who work in the private sector and seek affordable housing.
Some have children, who study in the schools in Phuentsholing, and they say they paid their transportation fares in the beginning of the year until the school bus service was provided. The single bus plies four times a day for students and tenants. And the rest travel either by their personal cars or use taxis. The bus also gets delayed some times.
The residents are also hoping for another bus service for them.
“More than 30 students go to schools daily from the colony. We would be glad if another bus service is provided,” Pema Wangda, another resident said.
The residents have written to the finance ministry regarding the rent in May this year, but they say that nothing has happened so far.
“We hope for appropriate action from the authorities,” Cheki Dorji, another tenant said.
Also, garbage has become another issue for the residents.
Without proper waste disposal bins, all the garbage from the colony are disposed in open area inviting stray dogs. Residents say they have not seen the garbage truck for a month now.
A resident, Pema Wangda, is planning to identify another pit for the residents to dump their garbage.
“The smell and stray dogs have become intolerable. We have to act immediately before any hazard happens,” added.
Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing