Town:Even if residents of Khuruthang town and those visiting are getting used to the filthy stench of leaky sewer lines and tanks, the town is finally getting a sewerage treatment plant.

The construction of  a much-awaited facility has begun after more than 15 years since the town was planned. The municipal office has finally received a funding of Nu 47M from the government of India’s small development programme this year for the plant.

Khuruthang’s thromde thuemi, Namgay, said without a proper sewerage network in the town, the town was faced with major sanitation problems. “Leaking septic tanks and stench was the biggest problem,” he said.

There were cases were municipal office even penalized some house owners who let their sewage leak into the town’s drainage. Residents and customers complain of stench from leakage or overflow of septic tanks almost on daily basis, said Namgay. “We are hopeful the problem would be resolved with the treatment plant.”

Municipal have a tanker, but the it is old and could not provide timely service. Some people do not want to avail the tanker, as they have to pay a fee, said Namgay.

“We have raised the issue at almost every tshogdues and thromde meetings, and also to the Parliament representatives visiting the town,” Namgay said. “However, since the budget requirement was huge, it took so long to get the funding.”

Once completed the sewage treatment plant will benefit around 41 buildings and 20 traditional houses in Khuruthang town, according to municipal engineer, Aiman Limbu. The treatment plant is being constructed on a 50-decimal land below the town.

Aiman said individual households have to connect their septic lines with the main sewage network that would be carried out to the sewerage treatment plant.

He said it is an 18-month project, but going by the work progress, they are expecting it to complete before the deadline. The work was handed in June, this year and construction works started after November 11.

Meanwhile, to ensure residents and house owners do not leak their septic tanks into the open drains, the municipal staffs even monitor the town at night. “If found leaking, we charge them with a fine of Nu 20,000,” said a municipal official.

By Dawa Gyelmo, Punakha