MoWHS: If mitigation studies are not carried out soon, Dungsam river will pose great risk to Samdrupjongkhar in the future. This is according to the thromde and officials from works and human settlement ministry.

Dungsam river that flows along the Samdrupjongkhar town floods frequently during monsoon. Recently, a flood washed away a truck and a suspension bridge.

Officials from engineering and management divisions in Samdrupjongkhar are conducting a comprehensive study and hazard mapping that will determine critical areas. The officials will recommend mitigation measures along the riverbanks.

Engineer Kinley Dorji said that the risk covers not only core town area, but also upper market where most of the residential and office areas are.

“If mitigation is not implemented soon, the entire town and the settlements along the rivers are at risk,” said Kinley Dorji.

Dunsagm river is a rain-fed river that swells and becomes big in summer but dries completely in winter.

Kinley Dorji said the study should be completed by June 2016 mitigation measures discussed among stakeholders.

Officials say that an artificial lake could have formed because of debris. In the even of flood this will be dangerous.

Samdrupjongkhar Thrompon Karma Sherab Thobgyal said that almost Nu 108 million has been spent on constructing gabion wall and RCC for river protection since the establishment of the thromde office.

“A permanent solution has become critical. We’re doing everything possible to protect the river from flooding,” said Karma Sherab Thobgyal.

Dorji Choden, minister of works and human settlement ministry, visited the flood site on September 14 and said that proper study must be carried out and a permanent solution must be sought.

“It’s going to be costly. But it is urgent because riverbanks have become dangerous,” said Lyonpo Dorji Choden.

Yangchen C Rinzin,  Samdrupjongkhar