Chimi Dema | Tsirang
To ensure adequate drinking water for residents in Tsirangtoed, Tsirang, the Water Flagship Programme approved a project to connect over 180 households to a reliable drinking water supply about two years ago, according to the gewog officials. But there is no budget to implement the project.
Tsirangtoed gup Nar Bdr. Rai said that the new water source was identified and a survey carried in 2013.
The new source, Dapkhola, is 32km from Tsirangtoed and located in the neighbouring gewog of Phuentenchhu.
The gup, during the recent Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT), said, “Despite the water shortage becoming chronic in the village now, we still did not receive a budget from the flagship programme.”
He said that the project was proposed in the flagship programme given the inadequate budget with the gewog administration. Although the total cost of the project was yet to be worked out, he said that the project would need at least Nu 10 million (M).
“The gewog gets only about Nu 3M a year for water-related services,” he said.
The water supply project is also expected to benefit residents of Semjong and Phuentenchhu.
The DT chairperson, Shiva Lal Kararia, said that there was hardly any water in Tsirangtoed and some chiwogs in Phuentenchhu this time around.
“Drying of water sources coupled with increasing population in the locality has aggravated water shortage in recent years,” he said. “The agenda has been deliberated several times in the past DTs.”
He asked whether there was any concrete decision on the project in the coming fiscal year.
In response, the Dzongkhag Planning Officer, Karma Wangmo, said that as the project was included in the second phase of the flagship programme, the project can start in about two years’ time from now.
The official recommended prioritising the project by sharing costs among three gewogs and adjusting from the dzongkhag administration instead of waiting for the flagship programme.
Today, more than 180 families are sharing the small quantity of water drawn from the source.
In 1980, the government started a project to draw drinking water from the Paw River, almost 18km from Tsirangtoed. The water drawn from the river was first collected in a tank (Alay tank) and then supplied to Tsirangtoed Primary School (present central school).
Gup Nar Bdr. Rai said that currently water collected at Alay tank through the old pipeline from Paw River was diverted in three directions. One outlet goes to the Central School, another to Burichhu village, and the third goes to the residents of Tsirangtoed and Kapasey chiwog. The water coming to Tsirangtoed and Kapasey gets shared with Soentabsa village on the way.