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Civil Servants in Nichula Struggle With Housing Crisis and Inaccessible Infrastructure

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Sonam Deki

Civil servants in Nichula under Dagana Dzongkhag are facing an acute housing crisis due to the scarcity of accommodations. When civil servants are assigned to work in Nichula, finding suitable housing becomes a daunting task, significantly affecting their work-life balance and overall well-being.

One of the primary reasons exacerbating this housing problem is the absence of a motorable bridge over the Sankosh River. The lack of proper infrastructure has discouraged people from constructing houses in the area, leading to a shortage of housing options. Without a bridge, construction becomes a costly and laborious process, as residents have to manually transport construction materials and goods from one side of the river to the other.

A civil servant in Nichula expressed, “Finding accommodation is an immense challenge for any civil servant posted here. The scarcity of housing has become a major deterrent for people considering placements in this area. Personally, I lived in a cramped space with my family and son, just one room to accommodate us. I recently managed to secure a slightly more comfortable living space, but this issue persists for many of our colleagues. Unfortunately, numerous staff members continue to struggle to find suitable housing options. The absence of a motorable bridge over the Sankosh River exacerbates the problem. The existing bridge only allows two-wheelers to pass, making it inaccessible for larger vehicles. Construction costs soar under these circumstances, as people are compelled to manually transport building materials from one end of the bridge to the other. This logistical challenge substantially inflates expenses, discouraging individuals from investing in building homes in the area.”

He added, “Furthermore, the situation has led to a concerning trend. Few civil servants willingly choose to serve here, apart from those whose initial appointments were in Nichula. Even for these individuals, after the mandatory three-year service period in their initial posting, many opt to leave. Despite having housing, the quality of these accommodations often does not meet the standards expected by civil servants. The collective impact of the housing crisis and the lack of a motorable bridge over Sankosh has created a pressing issue for the community and the civil servants. Urgent intervention is needed to address these challenges, ensuring that suitable housing is available for all civil servants and that essential infrastructure, such as a proper bridge, is constructed to facilitate accessibility and reduce construction costs in the area.”

A civil servant commuting from Lhamoizingkha to Nichula shared their ordeal, stating, “My work in Nichula necessitates constant travel, making the daily commute a challenging experience. Our living situation in Lhamoizingkha exacerbates the difficulties we face. The quality of our accommodation leaves much to be desired, and the expenses incurred are substantial. The situation becomes particularly strenuous and perilous during the monsoon season, with exhausting and risky journeys, and worsens at dusk due to the presence of wild animals, posing a significant threat to our safety.”

He expressed, “Securing a suitable house in Nichula proves to be quite challenging.”
Karma Zangmo (name changed), a resident of the village, remarked, “The prospect of attracting more tenants to our houses is hindered by the lack of proper infrastructure. The non-motorable bridge poses a significant challenge for us. If we had a functional bridge, it would considerably ease the process for those wanting to construct larger homes, allowing them to transport housing materials with ease.”

Nichula resident and Mangmi Kharga Bdr Tamang, highlighted the persistent housing challenges faced by civil servants in the area. Tamang emphasized, “The housing problem for civil servants is indeed a reality here. The difficulty arises from the inability to construct substantial homes due to the absence of a motorable bridge. Transporting housing materials becomes an arduous task, forcing residents to carry them on their backs or, in rare instances, on horses, which are not readily available. The crux of the matter lies in the bridge dilemma. Although we have raised this concern at the local Dzongkhag Tshongdu, relying solely on gewog and dzongkhag funds is insufficient. It is imperative for the central government to intervene and address this pressing issue.”

There are more than 1500 registered population in the village and most of the houses are huts and however, construction of a few traditional houses has begun recently.

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