KP Sharma

To create awareness and encourage residents to maintain a clean and green city, more than 400 de-suups carried out a cleaning campaign along Norzin Lam in Thimphu on March 25.

The campaign is a part of Thimphu’s greening and beautification programme.

The volunteers were involved in re-organising flower gardens, repairing and repainting railings, footpath beautification, drain-cleaning and repairing missing slabs, among others.

Tandy Dorji, chief planning officer of de-suung, said that the initiative is expected to make people understand the importance of keeping the city clean and green at all times.

He said that de-suup volunteers would continue to initiate such programmes to help the citizens live in a neat and well-organised urban environment.

The campaign, Tandy Dorji said, should encourage the residents to be responsible and come forward to take part in such initiatives for the well-being of the community.

According to de-suung’s media officials, the cleaning and greening programme would be taken beyond Thimphu in the future.

Tashi Tshering, a resident of Thimphu city, said that despite many cleaning campaigns in the area, pollution continues to rise.  “People don’t realise the effort of the volunteers in cleaning the area for the benefit of everyone.” 

A shopkeeper, Tshewang Dorji, said that although different groups such as de-suups and scouts come to clean the city, there is a lack of awareness among the people.

“I am thankful to de-suups for always coming forward to help the community,” he said.

Palden Choden, who runs a small paan shop near the bus parking lot feels that keeping the surrounding clean should not be left only to the volunteers all the time. “I don’t think we have to wait for de-suups to come and clean our own surroundings.”

According to the city residents, partygoers and late-night movement of people give rise to the issue of mounting waste in the city.

They say that recreational parks and entertainment centres should manage their waste properly.

Although there are measures and policies in place to tackle the rising issue of waste, Sonam Tshering, a taxi driver, said that there are no proper monitoring and implementing agencies.

“Unless they start penalising the defaulters with strong measures, the waste problem will continue to grow”, he said.        

The programme was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Thimphu Thromde, Royal Commission for Urban Development, and Tashichhodzong Garden Project.