Infrastructure: Thimphu residents criticise the city’s poor drainage system after every downpour.

In an effort to solve drainage problems in the city, the Thromde is working on a  drainage master plan.

However, the thromde’s engineer, Dendup Lhamo, said that it would take time for the master plan to come through as information is still being collected.

An urban planner and four engineers from the thromde’s road and bridge, and geographical information system (GIS) divisions will be working on the plan.

Dendup Lhamo said that with the master plan in place, the thromde will have an accurate picture of the drainage system. “Most of the city’s drains don’t have proper outlets,” she said.

Thromde officials visit the site and decide what type of drain is required in the area after a complaint is received, Dendup Lhamo said.

The thromde frequently receives complaints of overflowing sewers and drains. Dendup Lhamo can get two to three complaints in a day.

Motithang resident, Dorji Wangchuk, has been reporting a drainage problem to the thromde since 2012. “Whenever it rains, the runoff from buildings and road above my house flood into my compound and at times into my basement,” he said.

He claims that despite repeated complaints to the thromde, no action has followed. “Thromde officials including the thrompon visited the site several times,” he said.

Dendup Lhamo said that the road above the building doesn’t have a proper drain and the road’s runoff overflows the building’s drains.

The work to repair the existing drains and fit a 17m pipe for the runoff in the area has been contracted. “Work will begin soon,” she said.

Meanwhile, the thromde had approved a budget of Nu 10 million this year to repair and construct new drains in the city.

A total of 184m of drains in the city will be repaired while about 143m of new drains will be constructed this year.

Taba, Dechencholing, Changzamtok, Jungshina, the area above the vegetable market and Babesa are areas where drain work will occur. Dendup Lhamo explained that the areas were chosen depending on the severity of flooding problems.

She said the drainage work this year would help ease problems related to drainage.

A civil servant, Phuntsho Dendup, said that whenever there is heavy rainfall, the city floods and sewage overflows at some locations. “The day becomes a nightmare for commuters in the capital. It’s unbearable, it stinks,” he said. “We need a sewage infrastructure that can cope with the amount of rainfall we get.”

Dechen Tshomo