Phurpa Lhamo | Gasa

Gasa dzongkhag would plan for flood mitigation works after assessing the damages at Gasa tshachhu, according to dzongrab Dorji Gyeltshen.

The swollen Mochhu washed away the tshachhu ponds on August 26 this year.

According to the dzongrab, the dzongkhag administration is waiting for the river to subside to assess the damages and implement mitigation work.

He said that before reconstructing the ponds at the site, a flood mitigation work was important. “We are making a comprehensive plan before reconstructing the tshachhu ponds.”

Dzongrab Dorji Gyeltshen said flood mitigation plan would try to broaden the river course to decrease the speed of the river and avoid damage to the tshachhu site.

Earlier, a river diversion work had diverted 30 percent of the river through a different course, while 70 percent of the Mochhu flowed near the tshachhu ponds.

According to the dzongrab, the small hill separating the two river courses would be merged to broaden the river course. “A retaining wall would be constructed along the riverbank near the tshachhu ponds.”

He said they would raise the ground of the tshachhu if possible. “But that will depend on how forceful the tshachhu source is. If the tshachhu water cannot reach up, then we cannot raise the ground but if there is force, we will raise the level of the tshachhu ground.”

The volume of the Mochhu is expected to subside only by November when the dzongkhag starts receiving less rainfall.

“Since Gasa falls in a rain shadow, the river will only subside by November,” Dorji Gyeltshen said. “Until October, there is nothing we can do.”

Currently, an excavator has been deployed at the site. Boulders are being deposited at the site to protect the source and avoid further erosion of the land at tshachhu site.

Dorji Gyeltshen said that the source was intact. “But the height of the source might go down because a valley has been created by the river.”

The tshachhu witnessed similar flooding in 2009, when ponds, shops, an outreach clinic and an attached room, and public toilets were washed off.

Currently, the tshachhu manager and a police constable are at the site to keep guard of the property.

Edited by Tashi Dema