Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Without a proper drainage system in Samdrupjongkhar thromde’s Toed and Bar demkhongs, water from septic tanks and sewage drains stagnates, filling the area with a foul odour.

A resident, Sangay Lhamo, said the thromde administration failed to address the problem despite several requests and complaints.

“They did not pay any attention to our problems for a long time,” she said.

Although the construction of the sewage drain is underway, residents said there is not much progress.

Sangay Lhamo said the contractors should speed up the work. “None of the thromde officials visited the site so far.”

Residents said there would not have been such issues if the buildings in the two demkhongs have been connected to the sewerage treatment plant.

“Our main problem is septic tank leakage today,” a resident said. “We do not know why thromde administration takes time to connect the buildings to the sewerage treatment plant because the plant was completed about five years ago.”

Residents also said thromde workers should also clean the Toed and Bar demkhongs because they focus only on the main town.

They said they requested labourers but no one turned up.

According to a building owner, thromde administration provides cesspool tankers, but most residents do not avail the tankers as it could not provide timely service. “The treatment plant is of no use as we cannot utilise it.”

Samdrupjongkhar thrompon, Thinley Namgay, said the sewerage treatment plant was completed in 2017, but they could not connect the sewerage network because the design for the network was not completed as they had to depend on international expertise.

He said the thromde administration started designing the sewerage network in 2016 and completed it in 2019, but could not start the sewerage network construction due to the increase in the budget as per the design. “Our initial budget was Nu 6 million, but it has increased to about Nu 69 million.”

He said the thromde had to seek assistance from Asian Development Bank (ADB) and had awarded the construction of sewerage network work to the contractor in November 2020. “About 50 percent of the work has been completed today.”

The thrompon said there are no issues in the local area plan (LAP) I as all the buildings have been connected with the sewerage network and treatment plant. “More than 4,000 people would benefit once the LAP II and III are connected to the plant.”