Chencho Dema | Punakha

As a part of improved waste management plan, the Punakha dzongkhag administration installed 10 surveillance  (CCTV) cameras between Zomlithang near the Punakha Dzong an Lamperi, below Dochula. 

The plan had not worked and officials are relocating the cameras. Locals found out the cameras ineffective in identifying offenders disposing off waste from their vehicles. A CCTV camera attached to a tree in Changyuel has not been working since July.

Sources said the CCTV cameras were not working because they are obscured by overgrown branches. The cameras are powered by solar energy and stopped working when thick branches blocked sunlight to power them.

A Changyuel resident said that on the morning of August 16, four cartons of waste were dumped at Changyuel despite knowing there is surveillance camera in that area. “I went to check the camera and found out that they were not functioning,” he said.

Officials will now relocate the cameras in areas that will receive enough sunlight and work round the clock. Individuals found guilty of littering are being fined in accordance with the Waste Prevention and Management Regulations of Bhutan.

The penalty for littering in any public place is set at Nu 250. Offenders who dump waste in the environment will be fined Nu 3,000.

Nobody was fined since the cameras were installed. 

However, officials said that littering and dumping waste had dropped since the installation of the surveillance cameras. “ The highway is comparatively cleaner after the cameras were installed,” he said.

The dzongkhag expect improvement in monitoring once the cameras are relocated and function well. The members of the waste enforcement team would now be responsible for monitoring the cameras on a round-the-clock basis.