Dhendup Dorji, 53, was busy packing inside his apartment in the gol building (Gor Chhim) yesterday. He will be in a new flat today.

With Dhendup, 47 other gol building tenants are relocated. The tenants were given the first priority by the National Housing and Development Corporation Limited (NHDCL) affordable housing project.

They were allotted the new flats on June 16.

Excited about the new house, Dhendup Dorji yesterday said it would be his last night in the iconic gol building that will be dismantled for safety reasons and replaced by an equally landmark structure.

“The NHDCL flat is like a heaven compared to this one,” he said. “I thank my King and the government for this arrangement.”

His family will now have a two-bedroom flat with a living room, two toilets and two balconies. It would cost him Nu 5,515 a month.

In gol building, Dhendup paid Nu 2,400 for a two-bedroom flat. He stayed for six years.

At the new apartment, tenants were also busy arranging their new homes.

A teacher, Ugyen Lhamo, said the new flat is much better.

“The environment is clean and the parking area is safe.”

She said the water facility is 24 hours in the new NHDCL apartment. “Such facility was not there in gol building and people suffered.”

Another tenant, Pema Choden, said she lived in the gol building for about 15 years. “It’s just the fear of an earthquake. Otherwise, gol building was also okay.”

Although the affordable apartments were officially handed over on June 16, tenants shifted only in the last few days due to water and electricity connectivity.

NHDCL liaison officer in Phuentsholing, Sangay Khandu, said electricity and water were connected on July 1.

“We still do have minor water connectivity problem in some buildings but we have provided them with temporary measures,” he said, adding it would be resolved soon.

Meanwhile, the commercial spaces of gol building are still used. The notice was served to vacate by the end of August.

On June 12, a concrete piece from the Gold Building fell apart and damaged a car. It was the second such incident.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing