With leaking sewerage and poor drainage, the National Housing Development Corporation (NHDCL) buildings in Damphu town are in dire need of maintenance.
Its dilapidated condition, the buildings’ nearby tenants say, cause problems for them.
A building owner in Damphu town, Bala Ram Acharya, said that the NHDCL houses do not have proper sewerage lines causing the sewerage to overflow.
He said it is worse during the rainy season. “The smell is unbearable and drives away customers from our restaurant.”
He also said the buildings also do not have proper drainage and the dirty water flows into their drain, often clogging it.
Another hotelier in town, Dili Ram Acharya, said the sewerage has been leaking for last seven years ever since he started running the hotel.
His hotel is located behind two NHDCL buildings.
Besides the lack of hygiene, he said it is not a good site in the core town area. “The foul smell has seriously affected my business over the years.”
In recent times, the neighbours have written several complaints to the municipality office. Municipality officials say they have been writing to the NHDCL for a long time but did not get any response.
The officials say they wrote to NHDCL in April this year, stating that few quarters in the core town need urgent maintenance as the discharge of sewerage and wastewater flows into open surface polluting the whole town.
The letter stated that the plinth protection and drainage system also need maintenance. “In order to keep the town clean, environment-friendly and for the good health of tenants and nearby residents, please do the needful at the earliest.”
There are at least eight NDHCL buildings in the core town area. All buildings do not have roofing and most are single-storied houses.
The sewerage lines are also not connected to the main sewerage line of the municipality.
The municipality’s principal engineer, Tshewang Tenzin, said that besides leaking sewerage and poor drainage, the building itself is in dire need of major maintenance.
He said the municipality carried out deposit works worth Nu 1.8M in the 2016-2017 financial year.
He also said following a final warning from Bhutan Power Corporation, the municipality carried out electrical maintenance (rewiring) of all eight buildings with the budget. “All buildings need major civil maintenance,” he said.
The principal engineer said if NHDCL does not carry out maintenance sooner, the municipality has no option but to evacuate the tenants.
Meanwhile, NHDCL chief executive officer, Thinley Dorji, said that budget to carry out sewerage line maintenance in Damphu town has been approved and works will begin within a week or two. “We plan to demolish few houses and reconstruct it. Budget for it is expected to be finalized by the end of this year.”
Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang