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To ensure that the town remains neat and clean, the Damphu municipality office has installed at least seven closed circuit television (CCTV) in the core town.

According to the municipality’s principal engineer, Tshewang Tenzin, the CCTV was installed to manage waste, as several attempts to monitor it physically failed. “Even verbal warnings failed.”

He said shopkeepers, pedestrians, residents and visitors in the town, dumped garbage anywhere they like.

The principal engineer said drains in the town remained clogged with waste, as people threw garbage all over the street and footpaths.

He said that while things improved, there are still people who continue to be careless. “CCTV is for them and we’ll penalise them”

He, however, said the amount of penalty will keep increasing. “Open defecation and urination was a big problem.”

Tshewang Tenzin said the bus terminal area and the taxi parking were filled with pungent urine smell and full of waste. “Despite placing dustbins all over the town, people dumped waste just outside it.”

He said the business community and town residents were informed prior to installation of the CCTV cameras. “The municipality will soon fix signboards at the entry points to keep visitors aware of the CCTV surveillance.”

Meanwhile, Tsirang dzongkhag is taking the waste issue seriously. Since the beginning of last year, first Saturday of every month is a ‘cleaning campaign’ day. The cleaning campaign is organized not just in the town but in all gewogs, chiwogs and villages.

Damphu municipality has also formed a committee of four people to regularly monitor waste management and illegal construction in the town.

The principal engineer said that at least additional five cameras would be required to cover all prime areas of the town.

However, thromde has not been able to purchase additional cameras because of lack of budget.

The present seven cameras were installed at a cost of Nu 600,000.

A five-unit public toilet is being constructed below the town to keep the town free of open defecation and urination.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang

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