The Gelephu Tshachu(hot spring) has remained closed for visitors almost a week now after two of its ponds suffered cracks.
The Tshachu caretaker, Phuntsho, said after heavy rainfall on the night of June 21, boulders from a cliff above the Tshachu area fell on the roof of one of the ponds and a pillar. “The boulder cracked the walls of the pond.”
He said the drungkhag administration instructed him to close the Tshachu for visitors after the incident. “Although two ponds are not affected, it was not safe to leave it open, as people would move from one pond to another.”
He also said the walls of the three ponds are attached to one another.
The caretaker said there are not much visitors coming to soak in the Tshachu at this time of the year when temperatures are soaring. “It is by September when the number of visitors increases and that is when the Tshachucannot remain closed.”
He said the ponds’ roof, pillars and walls need to be repaired soon.
Officials from the drungkhag administration including the drungkhag administrative officer visited the Tshachu for damage assessment yesterday. An assessment report will soon be submitted to the dzongkhag administration.
The administrative officer, Pema Chedup, said although the damage is not major, it was not safe to keep the ponds open for visitors. “There are chances of more boulders rolling down from the cliff above.”
He said works to repair the ponds would be carried out within a week after seeking approval from the dzongkhag administration. “Until it’s repaired, it will remain closed.”
Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang