Phuentsholing residents could expect an efficient drainage system this summer. For the last one-month about 40 workers have been cleaning the drains round-the-clock.

Thromde officials said that about 90 percent of the work has been completed. As of yesterday, Phuentsholing Thromde has dug out about 92 tractor-loads of wastes that include debris, mud, and pet bottles.

In the last 20 years, the eight kilometer long drainage was never cleaned. The system was clogged with wastes resulting in the town getting flooded every time it rained.

Although some stretches of drains are new, most were constructed more than two decades ago, Phuentsholing thrompon Uttar Kumar Rai said.

“But they were never cleaned and that is why the drains never served its purpose,” he said.

The thrompon said the remaining portion of the work would be completed within a week’s time. The thromde has to date spent Nu 380,000 in the work.

Solid-waste management in-charge, Jamtsho Drukpa, who is closely monitoring and supervising the work, said the drains’ outlets were completely blocked. “A major chunk of the waste was pet bottles,” he said.

The municipality said water flow in the drain has now normalised. Earlier, the clogged drains overflowed every time it rained. After completion of the task, the drains will also be cleaned with bleaching powder to prevent mosquito breeding. The thromde is anticipating dengue cases, which affected hundreds of people last year to decline drastically this year.

With proper drainage, about 17.54km of city road that was blacktopped recently will not be eroded. Over flowing water from drains have damaged several stretches of road in summer.

Phuentsholing thromde has spent about Nu 118.75 million to blacktop these roads.

A resident, Bijoy Chhetri, who has been in Phuentsholing for more than 15 years said this cleaning was the most awaited project.

“It is for the first time that such a massive cleaning has been done,” he said. “It shows that thromde is concerned about the city’s cleanliness.”

The thromde will, however, be unable to clean a few network of drains due to ongoing constructions.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing