Lhakpa Quendren | Gelephu 

With the rapid construction of buildings, including the National Pension and Provident Fund (NPPF) housing colony in Gelephu, landlords are concerned about losing their tenants.  

Currently, some apartments in buildings located on the outskirts of Gelephu town and within the periphery of Thromde remain unoccupied, while others are experiencing a long wait to get tenants, which they attribute to a large number of people migrating to abroad. 

Given that the buildings around the Central Regional Referral Hospital (CRRH), Gelephu are occupied by the health staff, landlords in that locality are now worried about losing their tenants with the imminent completion of the NPPF colony, which is being constructed to be rented to hospital staff.

“We did not have to look for tenants so far as the outgoing tenants used to replace them when they vacated the house. If my apartment remains unoccupied in the future, of course, I have to worry about loan repayment. But we cannot do anything,” said Sonam Tobgay, who owns a building near the hospital.

Another landlord expressed concerns over a potential shortage of tenants in the future. “Many building constructions are underway. On the other hand, people are leaving the country in bulk. This bleak situation has left the rental business in a state of limbo.”

However, hospital staff say that while tenants might go for lower rent, some staff with larger families would prefer to stay in private buildings. “Of course, many would prefer the housing colony given its affordability, but it would be more suitable for singles or small families.”

The NPPF has undertaken the construction of the new housing colony in line with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the health ministry.

According to the NPPF, the new housing colony will benefit the referral hospital staff once completed. “It will be convenient for the hospital staff to attend to their duties, especially those who have to work on shift systems at odd hours due to its proximity to the hospital.”

The construction, which is progressing as per the plan, witnessed a minor time overrun due to the pandemic. “Had it not been for Covid-19, the construction would have been completed sometime back,” said an official from NPPF.