Chhimi Dema  

Thimphu thromde will impose Nu 45,000 on those who park vehicles on footpaths or let their water tanks overflow. 

Thimphu Thromde office issued the notification on July 29 and gave residents a month from the notice date to make necessary changes.

The notification stated that it will levy hefty fines for illegal water supply connections, bypassing water meters, tampering or mishandling water meters, digging blacktopped road, damage and blockage of drains, and damage to footpaths, among others.

A thromde official said that the office came up with the fines for “overall improvement of Thimphu Thromde infrastructure” and was in response to increased sewer overflow and lack of water-treatment plant capacities.

The thromde official said that sewer overflowing was the most prominent issue during the monsoon. “It  was a clear indication that the public has connected their gutter to the sewer lines.”

During other seasons, thromde noted that apart from a few blocks, there were no cases of sewer overflowing.

Thromde found that blockage­–such as flushing of sanitary pads, condoms, sacks, cloth pieces, debris from surface runoff, and sludge from fats, oil and grease from kitchen waste– caused the manhole chamber to overflow.

“Most of the treatment plants across the capital are sewer treatment plants and their capacities are also small so they cannot treat kitchen waste,” said the thromde official.

Thromde expects that the pressure on sewer lines will reduce by removing the gutter connections and kitchen waste lines.

Thromde recorded that the most common illegal practices seen around Thimphu are gutter lines connected to the sewer lines; constructing access roads to private plots and not maintaining continuity of the drains or placing small pipes in the drains which lack capacity.

Thromde previously did not have fines for these activities.

Some Thimphu residents appreciated the thromde’s move. “This will allow people who pay to get improved services,” a house owner said.

Others said that thromde should first notify the defaulters before penalising them. “If they do not rectify in a given time then they should be penalised.”