Those washing cars or storing construction materials by the roadside will be penalized 

Thromde: To maintain the roads’ condition, Thimphu thromde will start deputing inspectors to monitor the roads in the city.

The decision to have road inspectors came after the thromde noticed activities such as flow of water from washing cars on the road, waste water outlets from buildings, storing of construction materials on the road, blocking of roadside drainage system, among others affecting the durability of roads.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said frequent flow of water on roads causes it to seep beneath the bitumen through cracks caused by the wear and tear of traffic and create potholes.

The road inspectors will monitor twice a week for a few months and gradually decrease to once a week, since the road inspectors will not be full-time inspectors.

People responsible for diverting water flow to the road will be imposed a penalty or asked to reinstate the road, whichever is appropriate.

Those found washing vehicles along the road or letting the water flow onto the road when washing vehicles would be fined Nu 1,000 per incidence.

According to Waste Prevention and Management Regulation, 2012, placing or storing of goods including commercial and construction materials on the streets, roads and pedestrian pathways without permission will be imposed a fine of Nu 2,000.

Most of the time, it is taxi drivers who are seen washing their vehicles from drain water near the roundabout in Zilukha, the thrompon said.

“The Zilukha road has been black-topped recently and when drivers wash their cars on the road, the water weathers the road creating potholes,” he said. “Our people lack civic sense. They don’t think about the damage being done to the road and the environment as long as they have their cars cleaned.”

Thromde will have a signboard placed near the roundabout in Zilukha saying car washing is not allowed.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee also said that a few days ago, a resident in Zilukha had stacked stones for construction on the road, covering almost half of the road although there was enough space for storage above the road.

“It is disheartening to see people carrying out such careless activities just to make their work convenient without thinking about the damage to the road,” the thrompon said. “People need to change their mentality about public properties. They should understand that thromde’s resource is also limited.”

The resident was asked to remove the materials from the road and he is liable for the damage caused to the road.

According to thromde officials, the major cause of potholes on the road is water as a result of careless activities and drainage problem.

Thromde’s engineer with road and bridge section, Ngawang Tashi, said thromde carries out maintenance of road on a daily basis.

However, it is not possible to cover all potholes on the 200 kms of road that runs through the city. Also, pothole-resurfacing works are done manually and the workers, he said, are not trained to do the particular job. The machines from Construction Development Corporation Limited are used for the work and at times when the machine breaks down, the resurfacing works have to be stopped.

“We are exploring to mechanize the resurfacing work so that roads are well maintained and also wastes are minimized,” Ngawang Tashi said.

Wastewater outlets from buildings located above the road is one of the main causes of potholes on the road, he said. The thromde plans to have metal gridiron at the base of the gradient so that wastewater from outlets will seep into the grill and flow into the drains.

Dechen Tshomo