With many places within Thimphu thromde being dug up to lay sewerage and drainage pipes, town residents are frustrated and complaining that thromde is causing inconveniences by leaving the roads unpaved and open.

Several residents in Motithang and Changangkha area complain that the roads have been dug up in various places for the last two months.

Sonam Dorji, 49, who has been living in the Changangkha for the last 15 years, said the stretch in front of his house has been dug up, which caused damages to his balcony and toilets.

Chogyal construction contractor, Kinga Sithar, who is executing the work below Changangkha lhakhang said he initially understood that he only had to construct the drains. “Thromde later asked me to expand the road width and that took longer.”

Thimphu thromde’s chief engineer for infrastructure division, Jigme Dorji, said that although people might feel that developmental works are not properly planned, thromde has it all pre-planned.

He said that although Motithang and Changangkha have been under the thromde since the 1980s, the area did not have sewage connection. “Most of the sewage outlet was out in the open which created an unhealthy environment.”

He said the thromde proposed a sewage network and treatment plant for Changangkha, Motithang, Kawajangsa and Zilukha to address public health and hygiene.

Jigme Dorji said that after the sewage lines are installed, re-surfacing of roads would be done.

He said the roads are intentionally left unpaved to allow the soil to settle and to avoid cracks in future. “We keep the road unpaved for a month and a half after installing the pipes and cables to let the soil settle to avoid cracks.”

The chief engineer said the roads in Motithang would be re-surfaced from today.

He also said that to avoid double expenditure, thromde is doing sewage and household cable installations during the soil settlement period.

Jigme Dorji assured that after this year, roads in Motithang and Changangkha would not be dug up again. “We are installing all the required services now,” he said. “This is the last infrastructure development in the area.”

The government provides the budget for thromde development at one go for the plan period.

Thromde officials said the budget is allocated according to the priority set by the thromde after discussions in the city council.

Karma Cheki