Babesa sewage treatment plant upgrade to begin soon

Sewage: Thimphu thromde has contracted work to construct and upgrade the sewerage treatment plant in Babesa to 12 million litres per day (MLD) capacity. The total capacity at present is 1.7MLD.

The contract worth more than Nu 76.91 million (M) and USD10.44M was awarded to an Indian company in October. The company is responsible for designing and building the treatment plant.

The company is in the process of mobilising resources and construction of the treatment plant will begin soon.

Some 85 percent of the fund is from the Asian Development Bank and the rest is from the Indian government.

The construction contract period is 30 months.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that the whole south and half of central Thimphu uses the treatment plant in Babesa. Once the treatment plant is upgraded, it will benefit all the households and businesses located in the area including Changjiji and Kalabazar that have their sewer lines connected to the treatment plant.

Of a total of 13 acres of land that has the existing sewerage treatment plant, the new treatment pant will occupy about two acres of land. The thromde plans to create the rest of the land into a recreational park.

The thromde’s ADB project manager, Kinley Penjore, said that unlike the existing treatment plant, the new one will be covered.

“People think that covering the sewerage treatment plant is to control the odour but the intention for having the plant covered is to make it look good,” the project manager said. “There will be an odour control system as well to control the unpleasant small from the plant.”

The thrompon said that whenever it rains, Norzin Lam gets flooded with sewage because of the sewer line congestion. To solve this problem, the thromde is in the process of making a bypass along the old city police station, connecting to the sewerage network in Changlam, which flows into the treatment plant in Babesa.

The thromde is also working on constructing multiple sewerage treatment plants in the city.

For the settlements above Changangkha Lhakhang and National Traditional Medicine Hospital, construction of a sewerage plant, two sewerage networks contract package under the Government of India (GOI) project will also begin soon in the area.

The contract for the work has also been awarded. The thrompon said that the chamber of the plant is prefabricated and it is being manufactured in Punakha since the raw materials are cheaper there.

However, the thrompon said that the treatment for the area will not be sent to the Babesa treatment plant.

A 2MLD treatment plant will be built above the Thimphu dzongkhag court. It is also a GoI project. “The plant will be compact and will have machines and odour control system to treat the waste water from the area,” the thrompon said.

The sewerage treatment plant will also cater to households in Changangkha, Motithang, Kawangjangsa and to settlements near Hotel River View.

The area above and below Langjophakha is under the World Bank fund and an underground sewer network has already been constructed.  Sewerage networks and another one million litres per day capacity sewerage treatment plant will be constructed above Ludrong Memorial Garden for the settlements above Langjophakha.

A World Bank project is being started below Taba highway, which includes construction of sewerage network and a treatment plant. GoI will fund the sewerage network for the settlements above Taba highway.

A treatment plant with a capacity of one million litres per day is also constructed near the river in Dechencholing, funded by the World Bank.

Meanwhile, construction of a sewerage treatment plant under a JICA project near the crematorium is also being carried out on a pilot basis. “Initially the settlement in Hejo will be connected to this treatment plant,” the thrompon said.

There are plans to build treatment plants in various other areas in the city.

The thrompon said that the sewerage system provides a healthier and more appropriate way to manage liquid wastes. “In about three to four years, treatment plants in all the areas in the city will be constructed and the Thimchhu will automatically be cleaned as the liquid waste doesn’t have to flow into the river.”

The thrompon said that when it comes to health and hygienic conditions, liquid waste is the major issue.

“Once all the sewerage treatment plants are constructed and all sewerage networks are connected, the health risk caused by liquid waste and sanitation problems will be resolved,” the thrompon said.

Dechen Tshomo

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