Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

A bitumen spillage at a construction site of thromde in Khareyphu, Phuentsholing, trapped some domestic animals recently.

According to residents, they found cattle with bitumen on their bodies on the evening of March 11.

A resident said her husband initially found two cows with bitumen and removed it with diesel. “It was so torturous for the animals. They belonged to a woman.”

The couple then found more people on the site where the bitumen spilt, trying to take out some goats that were glued to the bitumen.

“It was a horrible scene to look at,” she said. “What if some children got stuck. We adults can keep our distance.”

The resident said that the bitumen owner should fence the area so that animals don’t get stuck like that.

At the site, there were bitumens spilt out of the drums because of the heat as temperature has risen in the last week in Phuentsholing.

Phuentsholing thromde’s executive secretary, Lungten Jamtsho, said the bitumen was for blacktopping works and the contractor was instructed to relocate the site.

“We have even identified a site away from the town, but due to the lockdown and movement restrictions, the contractor could not relocate the site,” he said.

According to the executive secretary, thromde do not allow animals to enter the town, but despite concerted collective effort, they still see cows, horses and goats in the town.

“We have served several notices in the past to take care of the domestic animals, but owners have not paid attention to our notification. Very recently, we had to send 14 horses to Paro since no one came forward to take the horses,” he said.

Lungten Jamtsho said that despite repeated notifications, the animals are still seen in the thromde area. “It is against the city regulation of a clean environment.”

He said the thromde has imposed fines in the past on those who let their domestic animals freely in the town. “And we will continue to impound domestic animals if they are found in the city.”