Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering acknowledged again on January 2 that there was water issue in the country.

“Even in my own house there has been no water for almost last six days,” he said. “I had a long chat with the Thrompon and I think this took Thimphu Thromde by a little surprise because it was not expected. It was because of the cold wave that we are facing.”

Lyonchhen said that most of the plumbing system was clogged with icy water, the main problem. “The thromde is looking into this. We need to take lessons from here and then adjust the plumbing system accordingly.”

He said that the responsibility was not only of the thromde’s and that everyone needed to take ownership and make an effort to provide solutions. “Ours is a problem with implementation,” Lyonchhen said.

He said that the thromde has already identified the problem. “There is no professional way of conserving energy in the outdoor plumbing system as of now. We don’t have that in the 12th Plan because it is a high-tech system and we cannot afford that level of expertise right now. However, the thromde is already warned by nature and the thromde was aware of it and they will look into this.”

If the problem continues, lyonchhen said the government would have to come up with some temporary measures, which would be delivering water in vans.

“That’s all because we cannot fight nature at the eleventh hour.”

He said that he didn’t have an upfront answer up his sleeve to spell a plan A or plan B if plan A failed. “I don’t think any experts can have that because it is a little problem right now and it can grow bigger.”

The concerned agencies have already noted it, he said. “We’ll give them enough time to come up with solutions.”

Thimphu Thromde’s notification on January 3 stated that due to extreme weather conditions, the availability of water, especially at the tap point was being disrupted.

It stated, “In order to overcome the situation, the consumers may provide insulation to the water distribution pipes within the building premises.”

The notification also stated that Thimphu Thromde was putting in every effort possible to improve the situation through the repairs of the damaged pipes due to freezing, wherever possible.

Thimphu Thromde also requested property owners to prevent overflows from the water storage tanks located within their plot boundary through installation of plot valves.

Rinchen Zangmo