Loten Zangmo and Kinley Wangchuk

When National Pension and Provident Fund (NPPF) constructed a wall closing a popular footpath near Financial Institutions Training Institute (FITI), frustrated residents took to social media raising concerns.

They claim that the wall closed an easy route to Rinchen Kuenphen Primary School, Changangkha Middle Secondary School and others going to work.

Residents said that building the wall now forced school-going children and pedestrians to take the long and unsafe way, extending the journey by at least another 20 to 30 minutes.

A resident Tashi Tshomo said that she lived for 20 years in the NPPF residential complex and the route had been convenient. “The route saves time and taxi fare.”

A shopkeeper who operates near the FITI building said that, if the footpath remained closed, she would lose many customers.

Residents however agree with NPPF’s decision to build the walls.  “It’s for our safety and to prevent crime.”

They said that the residential complex has also seen numerous cases of auto stripping, battery, burglary, harassment, larceny, and missing person, among others.  They recorded 38 cases between 2016 and 2021.

An NPPF official said that they had taken various measures for more than 20 years to reduce crime.

“Residents from private buildings also park their vehicles within our premises. The premise falls within our boundary of NPPF land, therefore the signboard is earmarked as parking for NPPF tenants only,” said an NPPF official.

NPPF has finally come to the resolution of fencing with walls around the residential complex area leaving only two entrances.

The management also installed seven CCTV cameras in the area a year ago, but the cameras could not cover the entire area.

An NPPF official said, “The walls will benefit the residents of NPPF in the long run. The Thimphu Thromde had approved the construction.”

The complex has 333 households living in 38 residential buildings.