A trail of disaster that yesterday’s flood left in Sarpang reminds us of our mind-numbing inability to even decide when and how to relocate the town to a safer place. Even as we identified a new location for the town some decades ago, real township never could materialise. In the meanwhile the old little shanty of a riverside town by the highway has seen numerous life-threatening floods.

There may be reasons as to why the relocation of the town could not happen even as the structural plan of the town has been there ready for so long.

The good news is that we could evacuate the people of the town to a safer place before the swollen river broke the banks and began wreaking destruction on the town and its very people. There has been no report of lives lost yet, which is very fortunate. This prompt comes from our experience of having dealt with many such situations in the past. The bad news is that properties were lost. Many of the town’s unfortunate people will take years, decades even, to build and make their homes again.

It is upon the dzongkhag administration, therefore, to push for the development of the new township of Sarpang that has been long overdue, as it is incumbent on the government to make sure that it happens and happens without further delay. Surely the development of the new township should make sense to the people of Sarpang town. Make it so then. New township development should not kill the businesses of the people, which happening, could kill the township itself eventually, rendering our entire development efforts meaningless.

Whatever else the reason for delaying the relocation of the town, solutions must be urgently found. The sooner we do this, the better. How many times must a town be washed away before we get on our feet?