YK Poudel

A perennial issue in Samtse town is water shortage. It caught the attention of the government. Recognising the problem, the Prime Minister in February announced that the government would ensure 24X7 water supply in the four thromdes and Samtse town by the end of the year.

Going by the ground reality, there is much to be done. The town has an acute water shortage. The clustered settlement with all the major government offices, educational institutions, hospitals and businesses had been facing water shortage for over a month.

There are over 1,000 residents in the town. Many, especially business owners, are complaining.

Nima Zangmo, a restaurant owner, said she ran her business without running water for more than a month. “I have been fetching water from nearby shops in the morning,” she said. “It is inconvenient for businesses that require a continuous water supply. Without water, it is difficult to run a restaurant,” she said.

Jigme Wangchuk, who also runs an eatery, said the town needs an immediate solution to the water problem. “Samtse throm and offices nearby, as well as the Samtse College have gone without water for over a week now,” he said. “Nothing much has improved even after residents have been complaining for days. Although an old supply is there which has scheduled water supply provided temporarily, it is not enough for all.”

With the mercury rising, residents are also worried about sanitation and hygiene.

Municipal In-charge, Tenzin Drakpa attributed the shortage to a burst in the pipeline. “We are working hard to fix it. The broken pump pillar would be re-constructed within two days. However, it requires time to be ready. We aim to fix the water supply by next week,” he said.

Development Registry Officer, Samtse, RK Ghallay said the water supply got cut off near the Dhamdhum suspension bridge. “The residents were informed about the issue earlier last week. The team working would complete the issue at the earliest.”

Throm Ngotshab, Som Kumar Pradhan, is aware of the problem and is apologetic.  “Residents have been complaining about it for some time. The municipality has provided an alternative by providing water in the morning and evening,” he said.

“We understand that the water may not reach all the households. Therefore, we request the residents to close the taps when not in use until the issue is resolved.