After the commissioning of an automated water treatment plant last year, residents of Trashigang town and Melphey faced water shortage this year also.

The residents complained that the quality of the water has deteriorated since the onset of monsoon this year. A hotelier said water quality worsens every time rain falls.

Dzongkhag officials said that with the construction of a new filtered water storage tank (distribution tank) in Melphey, the water is currently being distributed directly from the raw water storage tank to the households.

Officials explained the water from the sedimentation tank that enters the raw water tank does not pass through the treatment plant where all the processes such as flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection take place.

The automated water treatment plant replaces the slow sand filtration technique that began as a pilot project in the 1980s.

Officials also said the previous technique failed to provide safe drinking water to the public.

It was learnt that seepage from the distribution tank was flowing into the town. Some of the residents who were affected by the leakage informed the dzongkhag administration and works to construct a new distribution tank began after an investigation found that the current tank had leakages.

The 200 cubic metre tank was first constructed in the mid 1960s and no major renovation and maintenance works were conducted since then.

Trashigang dzongdag, Chekey Gyeltshen, said the dzongkhag tender committee, in the interest of delivering quality work, decided on spot quotation for the construction works.

The committee decided to select contractors who lived in the town and were native to the dzongkhag. “The committee thought that the native contractors would take that moral responsibility to deliver better quality tank that they would also use along with the rest of the residents,” said the dzongdag.

He said the construction works would be completed next month and by mid August residents would have access to clean drinking water.

More than 4,000 people in Melphay and the core town areas including Chenery use the water from the distribution point located in upper Melphay.

Water from the two sources, Rangshikhar and Phobla, is collected at the raw water tank that has a capacity of 250,000 litres.

Of the total Nu 2.8 million budget the dzongkhag had, the lowest bidder received the work for Nu 2.7M.

Younten Tshedup | Trashigang