Kelzang Wangchuk | Jomotshangkha

Residents of Jomotshangkha town in Samdrupjongkhar are struggling with an acute drinking water shortage.

A resident, Kinzang Choden, 45, said that residents who own vehicles are able to fetch water from nearby streams and rivers, but those without cars suffer.

The reservoir will connect to a water treatment plant

“We reported the matter to the town representative, but nothing has been done up to now,” she said.

She said the drungkhag administration conducts maintenance, but residents face water shortages frequently.

Another resident, Kinzang Pelden, 52, said some residents fetch water from a pond below the hospital, but it is not suitable for drinking because people throw waste near the pond. “We have no choice other than drinking that dirty water.”

She said that they can’t maintain cleanliness due to the water problem.

Jomotshangkha drungpa, Lamdra Wangdi, said the town has two water sources in Gelongkhar and Chukarpo. “But both sources are unreliable, as they are seasonal. The water gets dirty in the summer, and dries up in the winter.”

He said the drungkhag laid the internal distribution line in the town and supplied enough water. “There is a water shortage because of weak management. No one takes responsibility.”

According to the drungpa, residents always keep the taps running, and the drungkhag cannot monitor it every day. “People complain, but they do not help to clear the blockages at the sources.”

He said the drungkhag is constructing a 200 cubic metre reservoir with a water treatment plant (WTP).

“People who do not have properly functioning water taps that can be shut off will be fined Nu 500,” he said. “Repeat offenses will result in a disconnection from the water supply.”

Edited by Tashi Dema