Yangyel Lhaden  

The capital city’s mayor, Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee, will be back to defend his seat that he has warmed for the last 10 years. 

Kinlay Dorje will contest for a third term from South Thimphu, Babesa.

Kinlay Dorjee has unfinished business. “I want to improve the services already put in place, work on developmental activities that I couldn’t implement as priorities changed and work on office reforms which are coming in,” he said explaining his decision to re-contest.  “Serving the people, city, and my King gives me satisfaction at the end of the day. I want to continue.”

He completes his tenure on February 26.

While Kinlay Dorje is known to be a man of action, there are critics who are not happy with the evergreen problems like water shortage, mounting garbage issue and the traffic congestion. He had to take flak recently for the decisions on the Centenary Farmers’ Market closure. His supporters feel that he is a man of action.

While the judgment will be seen in the upcoming Thromde election, Kinlay Dorjee said that he was confident with the responsibility and could handle the challenges which came with it.  “If I was incompetent, I would have given up after the first term. Being here and serving for 10 years is a sign I can tackle issues and challenges.”

The Thrompon also wants to reform the Thromde office besides issues the city is faced with. He said that there were accusations of poor services and of corruption, which impedes service delivery. Kinlay Dorjee wants to iron out the wrinkles by making human resource management of the Thromde autonomous. “I have already proposed this to the Cabinet.”

The Thrompon said that with human resource management, autonomous of the civil service, the thromde could better manage its human resource from hiring to firing and recognising performers. “This will improve service delivery, eliminate corruption and the people will benefit.”

Why five more years?

The Thrompon said that there were several projects underway, which he wanted to complete. He said that thromde had almost met the water needs of the city but much more had to be done.

One plan is to tap more water sources and inter-connecting water sources so that when one source dries up other can supplement. “Currently, when there is a problem with one water source, the whole area is affected. I want to tap more water to put an end to the shortage.”

Ongoing projects is another reason why the Thrompon wants to serve for five more years. “In the next three years Wang chhu would be free of sewerage,” he said.

The sewerage plant below India house is expected to be completed by October and there is a proposal  to build another one to cover areas from Hejo Supreme court and part of Samtenling and half of Babena.

“During my tenure, six sewerage plants in Thromde have been built ,” Thrompon said.

Improving road networks is another priority. In 2011, when the Thrompon was first elected, the  thromde office took over 210km of roads within thromde from the Department of Road ( DoR). The thromde, he said, had been constructing internal roads and added between five and 10km of road every year.

Kinlay Dorjee wants to continue doing that.

Thrompon said that many projects in the 12th Five Year Plan couldn’t be executed due to the pandemic and he was looking forward to completing them in the next few years. One massive project is replacing the Lungtenzampa bridge. The Thrompon said that a design of a double deck bridge worth Nu one billion is ready “It will happen in the 13th Five Year Plan.”

On the traffic congestion, the Thrompon is planning to build more bridges and four-lane roads. “City bus services would be improved so that there would be fewer private vehicles on the road.”

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that if he did not get elected, the new Thrompon would be able to execute plans he laid out.  “The question is how fast projects can be implemented,” he said.

Although not confirmed, North Thimphu residents told Kuensel that they were encouraging a candidate from their constituency to compete in the upcoming Thrompon election. “I think it is time we get a candidate from North Thimphu,” said a hotelier. “Perhaps, a new Thrompon could come up with newer ideas and strategies to the city’s problem.”