The ongoing work of installing sewer pipes in Changangkha and Motithang in Thimphu is causing inconveniences to residents and motorists.

A resident in Motithang, Phuntsho Wangdi, said that the digging is causing a lot of inconveniences especially in the morning during peak hours. “The traffic moves at a snail’s pace and it takes 30 minutes for a distance that usually takes only five minutes.”

He said that the trenches are not levelled evenly after the pipes are laid and that cars are getting damaged as a result.

The digging work along the roads in the area is also causing inconveniences to  pedestrians due to dust and traffic congestion. “I feel that it would have been much better if the work is carried out in phases,” he said.

The thromde’s executive secretary, Passang Dorji, said that the office is aware of the inconveniences caused to the people especially during peak hours.

“We have asked the contractors to stop the work for a few hours during the peak hours,” Passang Dorji said. The contractors were also asked to level the excavated area as soon as the sewer pipes are laid so that vehicles can use the full width of the road.

Passang Dorji said that installing a sewerage system is difficult and it requires repetition of the work. He pointed out that most of the time, the alignment and gradation of the pipes require correction.

He added that continuous water seepage into the trenches is another problem being faced. In some areas, the pipes had to be laid in narrow spaces where there is no place to keep the excavated soil.

“All these delay the completion of the work but we are trying our best to complete the work,” Passang Dorji said.

Thimphu Thromde started installing a sewerage system in the area last month to improve sanitation in the area. A total of 4km of sewer pipes are being laid and will collect all wastewater except roof water in the area.

Passang Dorji said that the thromde frequently receives complaints related to sewage from residents in Changangkha and Motithang.

He said that old septic tanks, over the period of time leak causing seepage of wastewater into neighbouring property, creating misunderstandings among neighbours. However, there is nothing much that can be done to curb the issue because of the gradient of the area, he explained.

“All complaints are genuine because one cannot control the flow of water from a higher gradient to the lower. There is also no measures to collect the leaked waste water,” he said.

According to the thromde, the new sewerage system will curb all the problems related to sewage in the area.

Passang Dorji said that potholes on the resurfaced roads are created when there is water seepage underneath and vehicles ply above. “We have been asking the contractors to fill the dents on the resurfaced road with soil.”

The thromde’s sewerage division head, Samten Lhendup, said that the work is divided into two packages and contracted out to two contractors so that the works are completed before the monsoon.

Samten Lhendup said that the thromde officials are working on the estimates to resurface and blacktop the roads.

A Changangkha resident, Kunzang Choden, said that while the work is being carried out for the benefit of the community, the thromde should expedite the blacktopping of the roads given the inconveniences caused.

Samten Lhendup said that if the roads are blacktopped immediately after it is covered then there would be depressions in parts of road because the filled soil will not have set properly.

The work is costing a total of Nu 15 million for the two packages, excluding the road resurfacing and blacktopping.

The work is expected to be completed by May.

Dechen Tshomo