Round-the-clock water supply, easing traffic congestion, sewage connections are some of the top pledges of the three thrompon candidates of Thimphu.

The election campaign officially started on April 2.

Former Thrompon, Kinlay Dorjee, the candidate from Babesa Demkhong, and Sonam Dorji from Dechencholing-Taba Demkhong started their campaign on April 2 from Taba. The other candidate, Ugyen Dorji from Jungshina-Kawajangsa Demkhong chose to begin his campaign on April 6 consideration the zakar or tendrel (auspicious beginning).

With 10 years of experience under his belt,  Kinlay Dorjee said, “If I get elected again, I will carry forth the plans laid during my two terms.”

Kinlay Dorjee said that the most challenging issue today was traffic congestion. He said that the priority of the new thrompon has to be easing the congestion.

He said that along with the development activities, there would be a focus on creating community vitality and inclusiveness. “I have been doing this so far.”

Sonam Dorji, 31, pledged to supply free drinking water to the residents of the thromde.

He said that for more than a decade residents in many parts of the city faced water shortage. “Drinking water is a human right. This election is not about me but water as people’s fundamental right.”

He said that his focus is a vision of “New Thimphu” that is more liveable, sustainable and inclusive.

Sonam Dorji pledged on installing solar streetlights and sewerage line and improving the roads.

Ugyen Dorji, during the campaign, said that he hoped people would trust his experience. “If I were to take the responsibilities of the Thrompon half-heartedly, then I would have come out as a candidate years ago.”

He pledged on improving the thromde service delivery through digital connectivity.

He said: “If I get the opportunity, I will establish community offices in demkhongs so that people can avail services and use facilities in it.”

He promised to improve road and water distribution networks, minimise the water shortage and provide a continuous water supply.

Some voters are of the view that it would be better to support the candidate that had experience as a thrompon.  A voter said that if someone new gets elected then they would have to start from scratch while the experienced candidate can achieve much more. 

Other voters look forward to a change. A voter from Jungshina, who requested anonymity, said, “We have had no new thrompon in the last two terms. A new thrompon might bring innovative ideas to transform the city.”

The candidates were accompanied by their parents, spouses and relatives. To ensure that the meetings with voters strictly comply with the Covid-19 safety protocols a desuup follows each of the candidates throughout the day.

The former thrompon knows the residents from experience, Ugyen Dorji uses the geological positioning system (GPS) printouts to locate voters’ homes, and Sonam Dorji has his parents to help him identify voters in the locality.

The candidates’ campaigning ends on April 26.

Chhimi Dema