To reduce flood risks

Choki Wangmo | Dagana

Without strong barriers and retaining walls, the people of Lhamoidzingkha, Dagana live in constant fear of the swelling Sunkosh and Kalikhola rivers.

The situation worsens during monsoon.

In the recent Dagana dzongkhag tshogdu, Lhamoidzingkha Gup Surja Bhdr Limboo raised the issue stating that the challenges could be resolved if mining, quarrying, and dredging activities are allowed in Kalikhola river.

The gup said that the river has affected peoples’ livelihoods by damaging irrigation canals and eroding aquicultural land.  The barriers against the river, he said, did not work as the river changes its course.

In the past, Surja Bdhr said that public gave clearance to the Natural Resources Development Corporation Limited (NRDCL) with an agreement that NRDCL would build a river barrier.

“But even after two years, they couldn’t build it. This year, the public refused to give clearance to NRDCL,” he added.

To reduce risks, the gup said that the gewog administration had submitted a proposal to the Department of Forests and Park Services (DoFPS) to allow dredging activities in the area.

The gup claimed that although the DoFPS’s director with a team from the department visited the site for surveys, the gewog administration is yet to hear from the department. “We have submitted the required documents to the department. The forest range office in Lhamoidzingkha said that they did not receive any directives yet.”

A source at the DoFPS said that they are currently reviewing the proposal.

Meanwhile, the residents said that with inevitable risks of flash floods, the situation has worsened over the years. “Our land is rapidly eroding and homes may get washed away,” one said.

Another resident said that during monsoon, her family lives in constant fear of getting wiped out by flash floods. “It is not safe.”