Lhakpa Quendren | Gelephu

Shortage of drinking water has hit many areas of Gelephu thromde due to muddy and silty water flowing into the gallery pond in Mauchhu.

Water from Mauchhu is distributed to 53 percent (1,103) households of Gelephu thromde while the source from Pasangchhu and seven boreholes supply water to 977 households.

While almost half of the household faces water shortage, the residents in Tashiling said they are affected the most. According to the residents, landlords appealed to the thromde several times.

A landlord in Tashiling, Tshering Choki, said that for the past few months, she has been facing an acute water shortage. “The water shortage in my building started in November last year. I receive complaints from the tenants against the unavailability of water supply.”

Today her three water tanks with 13,000 litres remain empty. “I had to hire a water tanker to fill up the tanks. It cost Nu 3,000 to hire a private water tanker carrying 10,000 litres of water. Since it is a daily issue, I cannot hire a tanker every day.”

Another landlord in Tashiling said that tenants complained about water shortage. “I think there is an uneven distribution from the source.”

He added that the water pressure is low which cannot fill the tanks with the scheduled water timing of two hours each in the morning and evening.

Narad Acharya, 63, who owns two buildings in Tashiling and Samdrupling, said, “I have been taking water from Samdrupling to Tashiling through the pipeline. This is an advantage that I don’t need to hire a private water tanker like other landlords.”   

In Samdrupling, water supply timing is 6 am to 11 am and 2 pm to 6 pm.

JB Tiwari, 63, a resident, said that drinking water should be made available throughout the day in humid weather. “I think that the thromde should ensure continuous clean drinking water supply.”

“We are facing inconvenience due to water shortage. Our taps, most of the time, are running dry and we are unable to do our daily routine work,” said another resident.

With many constructions ongoing within the thromde, the water shortage has also led to a slowing down of the construction activities.

Nima, 77, in Tashiling, said that the construction activity, being a water-intensive sector, would come to a grinding halt. “It has been three days without water. My labourers are unable to get water for drinking.”

“The building construction is water-intensive, especially in the hot place. Without water, there is no work. We would be grateful if the authorities concerned could find innovative ways to address the issues to keep our work going,” he said.

A Gelephu thromde official said that muddy water has caused problems with the water supply in the past few days. “Clearing muddy water in the pound would cost a huge amount. We have to keep putting a lot of alum to coagulate the mud particles.”

The official said that the Gelephu water shortage is expected to end with the completion of the Gelephu water supply project under the water flagship programme.

The Nu 477 million water project through the government and De-suung partnership would benefit Gelephu thromde, and parts of Gelephu and Samtenling gewogs. The project is expected to complete by the end of October this year.