Unrepaired road, bad drainage system, and lack of streetlights are three major problems Gomtu town currently faces.

A resident said the roads have not been repaired or blacktopped for many years. “It gets dirty and dusty,” he said.

Residents say that while there are also no streetlights in the core town area, there are few streetlights away from the town.

A shopkeeper, Phurba, said even those streetlights at the outskirts are not functional. “And the drains are also not in good condition.”

Gomtu town is a border town. A drain separates the town from the Indian border.

Penden Cement Authority Limited (PCAL) owns most of the town’s land, which is given to people on lease.

PCAL managing director, Kaylzang Tshering, said the town has grown over the years and the residents expect everything should be done by PCAL because the land belongs to PCAL. “But that cannot happen.”

He said that unlike the past, where PCAL was a government-owned company, it now has a board and shareholders.

Kaylzang Tshering said there are about 600 to 700 trucks moving in and out of Gomtu every day and most of these trucks belong to other companies in Gomtu. “But when it comes to maintenance of infrastructure in the town, there is not much contribution from the companies.”

Gomtu town secretary, Phurba Wangdi, said the PCAL and Lhaki Cement have agreed to repair a major portion of the town road jointly. “For contributions, there will be a meeting.”

Other minor stretches of the road, he said would be repaired by the gewog administration.

The town secretary said it is also people’s responsibility to clean the drains in their own areas.

The core town area has about 34 buildings. All are leased by PCAL.

Rajesh Rai | Gomtu