Policing the potholes

Roads: If there is anything unique about the roads in Bhutan, it is the numerous potholes. While people have complained but nothing much was done until recently when a Facebook page called Bhutan Pothole Police was created.

Although the page managers disclaim any credit, it is evident that relevant agencies and authorities have repaired some of the potholes that featured on the page.

The page provides updates on bad road conditions and potholes with pictures and captions. It started with road conditions in Thimphu and page managers claim the page  now covers five dzongkhags.

A volunteer group manages the page. Its volunteers contribute both images and captios.

One of the page managers, Karma Pem, who runs a business in Thimphu, said they want to extend it to other dzongkhags as well.

Explaining why the page was created, she said it’s to bring the issue to the notice of concerned authorities. “This is expected to help all road users,” she said.

She added that positive comments from concerned authorities that they are repairing the potholes after it was featured on the page encourages them to work harder.

A member, who requested anonymity, said potholes start with a small scratch and it becomes unmanageable. “We hope concerned officials could be informed before it becomes too late.”

The member said timely intervention should save resources.

Karma Pem said the page was started at the beginning of last year but it started gaining popularity only by the end of the year. “We are a small group who cares for the society we live in,” She said.

Members of the page said water leakage and house constructions are usually to blame for the potholes on the roads.

They also say the responsibility to keep roads safe falls on all citizens.

A corporate employee, who follows the page, said the it helps to bring to light a pertinent problem.

An NGO employee in Thimphu said potholes within Thimphu city need attention but just featuring it on the page won’t be enough. “The concerned authorities have to take it seriously,” he said.

Page administers said they will try to fix some potholes by themselves if there are enough volunteers in future.

Nima Wangdi | Bumthang

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