An under-construction footpath, along the stream between the Bhutan Telecom office in Chubachu and goes up past the traditional medicine hospital in Kawangjangsa and below Motithang, poses risks of injury to those who walk along that path. 

The old footpath has been removed and in its place, a raised concrete footpath is being constructed. Residents said that there has been no work progress for some time now. 

There are wide open holes, incomplete structures that remain without proper cover and in some areas the holes have been covered by thin plywood. There are areas where workers have laid iron rods to construct concrete slabs. If left unattended, it is only a matter of time until someone drunk or a school going child falls into the hole and suffers grave injury. 

Some users wondered if it was not attended to because VIPs don’t walk down that path or because it’s used mostly by those who don’t own vehicles and therefore have no other option than to take the path. 

For the safety of everyone, the thromde should cordon off the area and posted a sign restricting pedestrians from using the under-construction footpath until its completion. 

Similarly, in many areas, concrete slabs on the sidewalks have been taken out but not replaced leaving gaping holes in the drains posing risks to pedestrians. Roads dug to lay pipes have not been fixed properly, some have small bumps over their pipes but didn’t mark them. Every day hundreds of commuters pass those areas silently and some begrudgingly. Most of us have accepted it as something normal now. 

While residents and those who walk along the path readily complain to the media, they have not raised any issue with the local thromde representative of the area. They haven’t had time, most of them said. But lodging a complaint today is far easier than a few years ago. 

There is no better platform than social media to raise awareness on issues and also to nudge agencies into action. All it takes is a picture and tag the concerned authorities. Some offices, including Thimphu Thromde, have been responding to such information and jumped into action to remedy the situation. 

Some residents in Olakha took the matters into their hands when in the past few months, a small pothole near the Damchen fuel depot in Olakha grew into a stretch of deep holes oblivious to those who were responsible to mend it. A handful of them came on a Sunday afternoon with broken bricks and other materials and fixed them. But this is a rare case.

An elderly gup, who retired recently said, thus: “People have changed. They think Zhung (government) has to do everything for them.” In a democratic society and with a political party in the government, voters have the power to demand. 

Then again what is the duty of a citizen to the country if residents won’t clear a clogged drain by the road in front of their building?