Chencho Dema

Zomlingthang is one of the most frequented public places in Punakha, attracting people for a variety of fun, sightseeing, and get-together programmes.

What visitors leave behind, though, is grossly unsightly.

The public toilets built in the area have become an eyesore and are now inaccessible due to its deplorable condition. The toilets are filled with faeces, twigs and such items.

Open defecation is rampant because of just four toilets and ever-growing visitors.

There is no caretaker to monitor the toilet or the area. A CCTV camera is set up to prevent littering. Even so, garbage is a growing problem here.

Recently, a Punakha resident posted pictures of the dirty toilets on social media calling for urgent action from the authorities concerned. The post read, “The toilets are unusable and the users should use it decently when the government provides such a facility for hygiene and sanitation.”

Pema from Changyuel, who frequently visits Zomlingthang, said, “When there are programmes like khuru or archery matches here, we face problems with restrooms.”

Another resident said: “You cannot enter the toilets; there is no place to step on.”

Sonam, who recently visited the location, lamented that the place is fast losing its allure.

Gyeltshen, planning officer with the Punakha dzongkhag administration, said that a budget of Nu 0.6 million will be procured from RSPN to refurbish the toilets at Zomlingthang.

Dzongkhag administration has also proposed for the management of Zomlingthang campsite management in the 13th plan.