…Citizens Disheartened as Drainage Woes Remain Unresolved, Thromde Urged to Address Pressing Issue
By Sonam Deki
As the monsoon season sets in, the capital faces a mounting challenge in the form of drainage problems. Despite the evident nature of the issue, no significant resolutions or improvements have been observed thus far. The lack of action has left citizens disheartened, as their repeated complaints about the inaction of the Thromde have started to lose impact due to growing apathy. Urgent measures are required to address the persistent drainage concerns and restore public confidence in the Thromde’s ability to effectively respond to this pressing issue.
In the face of the monsoon season, navigating the roads becomes a daunting task, as highlighted by Karma, a 56-year-old shop owner, who said, “Even walking on the road during monsoon season is challenging because the road is not only flooded with water from the rain, but also stinks strongly of garbage.”
The owners of Thromde meat markets shared similar frustrations, revealing that their businesses have been forced to shut down on three separate occasions due to drain water issues triggered by heavy rainfall. The recurring problem poses a significant hurdle for the market owners, demanding immediate attention and effective solutions from the authorities.
Expressing dissatisfaction, he remarked, “Rent was hiked by 10%, yet we have not witnessed any improvement in facilities. With the increase in rent, one would expect better support from the authorities.”
Wangmo, a resident at Hongkong Market, voiced her concerns stating that Thimphu, the most developed city of the country, has become the dirtiest and most inhospitable place to reside in during the monsoon season. The area has become covered in a layer of trash brought in through the drainage system, highlighting the urgent need for effective waste management measures to address the growing problem.
As concerns escalate, Kinley Tshering (name changed) emphasized the urgency of taking immediate action, stating, “It’s time to take action before it’s too late to find a solution. Securing the storm-water drainage system should be a top priority for Thimphu Thromde office.”
Singye, a shopper, further stressed the importance of prioritizing essential city-wide infrastructure maintenance, remarking, “Thromde should focus on improving water drainage systems rather than giving more importance to renovating parks. With climate change, this is just the beginning, and worse is yet to come. I hope that ‘Thromde’ is awake by now.”
Kezang, a daily passerby, expressed dismay, saying, “It is really upsetting to observe these events in the nation’s capital, which we believe to be the most developed and well-known city in the country.” The statements highlight the growing discontent and the need for swift action from the Thimphu Thromde to address the deteriorating situation in the capital.
In response to the concerns raised, Thromde official said, “Thromde cleaners are diligently engaged in daily cleaning and maintenance activities across the entire site. Their responsibilities encompass clearing roadside weeds, sweeping streets, collecting litter, and ensuring clean drains and sewerage systems. Furthermore, they actively address roadside blockages such as landslides and are often involved in cleaning construction site overflows that spill onto the roads. It is crucial to note that the unhygienic environment is not solely due to trash but also a result of individual carelessness.” The officials emphasized the ongoing efforts of Thromde cleaners while acknowledging the need for collective responsibility in maintaining a clean and hygienic environment.
Addressing the issue of drainage blockages, a Thromde official highlighted their proactive approach, stating, “We take measures to clean drains and high-risk areas prone to blockages before the onset of the rainy season. However, despite our efforts, a few individuals undermine our work. A recent incident occurred in the main town area where we encountered a blockage caused by construction waste, including discarded cement bags and shuttering materials, which had been irresponsibly dumped into the drains. Additionally, we often face the challenge of people disposing of their trash in the drains.” The official’s statement sheds light on the persistent problem of blockages caused by improper waste disposal practices and emphasizes the need for greater public awareness and cooperation to ensure effective drainage management.
However, Thromde officials reaffirm their commitment to addressing the issue by placing top priority on conducting periodic inspections, promptly clearing any blockages, and ensuring the proper functioning of drainage systems. In addition, they have established provisions for regular maintenance and cleaning of drains to ensure they remain free of debris and can effectively handle the heightened water flow during the monsoon season. These measures accentuate Thromde’s dedication to proactively managing the drainage infrastructure and mitigating the impact of heavy rainfall on the city.