The archery range

The archery range

Thinley Namgay

Residents living near the archery range near the Royal Thimphu College (RTC) area in Thimphu have raised concerns about their safety from stray arrows again.

In less than a year, residents said that they witnessed 11 cases of stray arrows. They say that consumption of alcohol during the game increases the safety risks.

Two houses are situated on the immediate left of the archery range.

One of the residents, Kinley Tshering, said that eight of the 11 stray arrows flew towards his house. “In the latest incident, a stray arrow flew into my compound.”

He also said that three arrows fell right in front of his house.

Kinley Tshering says that the safety concerns will not be solved unless the Thimphu dzongkhag builds a high wall to protect residents. He said that the net that has been placed behind the range would last only for about a month.

“I’m not against the archery range. But I’m worried that stray arrows may hit us one day,” Kinley Tshering said.

Another resident, Indra Galley, who resides a few metres away from the archery range, said that her house was hit by stray arrows thrice.

“My children and I spend most of our weekends inside the house thinking about stray arrows. I see the archers drunk most of the time,” she said.

Vehicles ply on the roads behind both sides of the archery range. Commuters, including RTC students, walk on the road.

Thimphu Dzongdag Dorji Tshering said that the dzongkhag administration had considered public safety as a priority. “We have done our best to put safety measures in place. Only a few archery ranges in the country have such facilities.”

“The dzongkhag administration recently enhanced the safety measures. I have also told Kinley Tshering to inform the dzongkhag administration about any extra safety measures that may need to be put in place,” the dzongdag said.

The archery range was built in 2020. The dzongkhag administration handed over the archery range to a private individual for three years from April 1 this year.