Metal rods on either side of the flood protection wall remain exposed while pieces of the railings hang carelessly. These are some of the remains the flash flood of July 22 left behind in Trashing town.
The children’s park that was covered in muck from the flood remains covered in dust today. Parts of the equipment have found its place inside the drainage.
The park however, still receives visitors as children come to ride the broken slides almost everyday. Children are also seen tossing stones near the exposed flood protection wall.
“It is ironic that the children’s park in Trashigang is more risky for children than other places,” said a resident, Karma. “If the parents are not careful, soon there would be some major accident in that area.”
Tshering Zangmo, a mother of two said that since it is the only recreational facility identified in the town, the children insisted on playing there. “They can see those colourful house-like structures which is why they insist,” she said.
She said that once her five-year-old son was found playing near the park. “There is no protection whatsoever along the river-embankment and we fear that someday someone would fall into the river.”
The park was constructed last year using some 50 percent of the nine decimal land alongside the flood protection wall.
Another resident said the area needs to be given priority because it is located in the centre of the town. “Safety is a big concern when things are left like this. Moreover, there are children playing near the wall and anything can happen,” she said. “I’m confused if the authorities are waiting for a major accident before they work on it.”
The dzongkhag administration following the flash flood mobilised men and machines to carry out immediate restoration of the affected areas. The work included clearing of the debris and restoration of the drinking water supply in the town.
The clearing of muck and debris, which was expected to take about two months, was completed in about a month’s time at Nu 1.35 million.
Dzongkhag engineer, Lekjay, said that the dzongkhag administration has proposed a budget for the remaining restoration works in the 2018-2019 fiscal year that is yet to be allocated.
He said that the 396m reinforced cement concrete (RCC) wall didn’t suffer major damage except for the railings and footpath on either side of the wall.
“Once the budget is allocated, work on the supporting railings and over the bridge would be carried out,” he said. “Improvement works at the beginning of the wall would also be made where by we would construct a V-shaped intake structure.”
The ground floor of the vegetable market would also be restored including the children’s park.
The flash flood on July 22 also washed away a wooden cantilever bridge near the archery range. Another wooden cantilever bridge near the municipal office suffered minor damage but the engineer said that the bridge is pliable.
“We would work on these structures after the immediate restoration activities are completed,” said the engineer.
Younten Tshedup | Trashigang