Housing: With her face covered with a mask to protect herself from the dust, Bishnu Maya Rai, 38, a municipal worker with Thimphu thromde, sweeps her new home.

Meanwhile, next door, Deki Yangzom, 30, and her husband Dorji, are busy arranging utensils in their new kitchen.

Yesterday, 12 families of Thimphu thromde’s municipal workforce moved into their new quarters built by the thromde in Changangkha.

Deki Yangzom said that her family can now sleep peacefully without having to worry about a leaking roof when it rains.

The temporary shack that they were living in was made of metal and plastic sheets.

Despite multiple repairs with plywood and cardboard, the deteriorating shack always had problems, Deki Yangzom said.

The families have to pay Nu 500 as rent every month for the quarters.

“We get to live in a proper house and we can afford to pay that much,” Bishnu Maya Rai said.

Thimphu thromde started the construction of the two buildings for those under the low-income group last year, particularly for the welfare of municipal workers.

Thimphu Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that since the work was executed by the thromde, it took longer to install water and sewerage pipes because the thromde engineers were busy.

The thrompon said that when the work is executed by the thromde, the work for the procurement of the materials had to be tendered out. “The materials don’t get delivered on time and it delayed the work.”

The thromde plans to construct similar houses for municipal workers in Babesa and Olakha.  “This time, the work will be contracted out,” he said.

The four vacant units will be given to its workers depending on emergency situations.

The two-storey buildings have eight units each that can accommodate 16 families. A unit has two rooms, a kitchen and a toilet.

The construction of the buildings cost the thromde Nu 9 million from its reserve fund.

The thromde has about 300 municipal workers who currently live in temporary sheds in Motithang, Changidaphu and Chubachu, among others.

Dechen Tshomo