The Prime Minister has asked for an immediate investigation into the recent flooding
Geology:Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay has asked for an immediate investigation to find the causes of the recent floods and landslides in Trongsa to prepare mitigation measures after visiting the affected areas yesterday.
“His Majesty is gravely concerned about the recent landslides and floods in Trongsa for earlier studies have found the dzongkhag to be geologically unstable,” Lyonchoen said.
“I came here to visit the landslide and flood affected areas as commanded by His Majesty.”
Lyonchoen has also ordered for geological studies immediately to identify the causes and risks. “Two geological engineers to conduct the survey is already here with us from Thimphu and will begin the study right away,” he said.
After visiting the road widening works, Lyonchoen also cautioned the department of roads (DoR), which is carrying out the lateral highway widening works from Trongsa to be extra careful since the town is located just below.
“Muck must be disposed immediately to its designated dump yard while drains needs to be kept cleared all the time,” Lyonchoen said, adding the works must also be given a break if it rains heavily.
Lyonchoen told residents that the road widening works couldn’t be suspended based on doubts that it caused the recent floods. He assured that attempts would be made to complete the road widening works in three years for the safety of residents and convenience of commuters.
Thromde thuemi, Karma Latho said studies must be conducted to find out whether the overflow from municipal water tank by Ebtsho (swampy lake) is actually causing the floods.
“In the 60s, people never spoke of Ebtsho and now every one is talking about it, which I doubt is formed from the overflow,” Karma Latho said.
Another resident from Trongsa also asked for construction and improvement of drainage within the town area.
Lyonchoen assured the residents that based on the findings of the geological study, mitigation works will be planned, which would also include improvement of drainage, water management and other preemptive measures.
But, he said, prevention of floods is a collective responsibility. Lyonchoen said the people, gewog, dzongkhag and government have been complacent about the impeding threat from floods and landslides. “In fact, nothing has been done to mitigate the threat from floods and landslides despite studies warning about it,” he said.
The Prime Minister said even though the studies recommended solutions like improving management of water and drainage, nothing was done.
Lyonchoen also questioned the quality of works in the construction of the truck parking and said that its being constructed despite studies warning the area to be highly unstable.
However, the prime minister was also hopeful after visiting the affected areas since it gave the government an opportunity to prepare the mitigation measures. “Although proper management of water cannot stamp out risks completely but managing water properly will mitigate the major threat of floods,” Lyonchoen said.
By Tempa Wangdi, Trongsa