Former thrompon begins campaign from his constituency

Campaign: The capital city’s former thrompon knows where to sniff for votes to run for a second successive term.

Starting his campaign from his constituency, Babesa, Kinlay Dorjee’s campaign promises appealed to the residents that have been living with sewage stench for years, some for decades. If elected for the second term, the lone candidate running for thrompon promised that of the total 13 acres of sewage treatment plant in Babesa, 11 acres would be converted into a recreational park.

Apart from mechanizing the sewage treatment plant, which would use only about two acres of the total land, he said the rest of the land would be used to construct a multi-purpose park with different recreational facilities.

This he said would be his number one priority, at least in the constituency. “I think the pledges that I had made in 2011 has more or less been achieved,” said Kinlay Dorjee. “The only thing remaining is the one on the sewage treatment plant.”

In the warm early afternoon sun, the pungent smell from the ponds is not reaching the campaign spot, at the Babesa School. If it did, the former thrompon is convincing.  He said that mechanizing the sewage treatment plant was supposed to begin by last year. “But because of lack of technical expertise, the project couldn’t be started,” he said.

He is confident. Funds have been mobilized and the tendering processes are underway, said the former thrompon who was in office until December 28. “We’re not far behind on this and the project should definitely begin this year and complete within the next two to three years,” he said.

The details are fresh in his mind. Asian Development Bank, he said had committed USD 14 million for the sewage plant. “Facilities like boating, swimming pools, all sort of games would be put in place for the public in the new facility,” he said.

There is another appealing pledge for the voters across the Thimpchhu. If re-elected, the soft spoken former thrompon said a six-kilometre road across the river connecting Changbangdu and Depsi would be constructed.

He said that the new expressway will serve as a bypass for the commuters going out of the city and help in decongesting the heavy traffic at the Babesa expressway. “This is a pledge that will definitely come true and the budget will also be approved because I have the permission from the highest authority,” said Kinlay Dorjee.

In the 15 minutes provided to speak to the crowd of about 70 people, Kinlay Dorjee mainly talked about his achievements.

One thing the thrompon could score low is on the mounting rubbish problems. But he disagrees. He considers outsourcing of waste collection including segregation and recycling as one of his biggest achievements.

He said waste management in the city had been a concern from day one. “We have achieved a lot. Previously only five trucks of organic waste used to go to Serbithang for composting but now every month 95 trucks goes for composting,” he said.

He added that almost 70 percent of the city has successfully implemented household waste segregation into organic and dry waste, reducing the quantity of waste transported to Memelakha landfill. “A transfer station to further segregate the dry waste is being constructed at Ngabirongchhu bridge by Greener Way,” said Kinlay Dorjee.

Smart, Green and a Dream City are the pull out words in the former thrompon’s campaign brochure. Kinlay Dorjee was restrictive on these words speaking to the crowd of mostly village elders. He however told Kuensel that making Thimphu a green city that will be able to sustain within its own resources will be his contribution to the city and its residents.

“A green city for me is a self-sustaining city, managing its own resources in terms of environment, waste, water supply and transport system,” he said. “We have achieved a lot in the past five year. We’ll achieve more together in the next five year to make Thimphu a better city.”

The campaign will continue until January 12.

Younten Tshedup