Residents of Kanglung gewog in Trashigang have been grappling with drinking water shortage, especially during the winter months for many years.

Some residents say that with increasing population in the gewog, water sources have been divided among multiple users.

However, with the completion of a new water supply system for the gewog, the water woes are expected to come to an end by July this year.

In an effort to deliver uninterrupted safe drinking water, two new water sources were identified in Nimshingdrang and Shingchen Goenpa in Yonphula.

Started in October 2017, the Government of India funded the project is being implemented by the dzongkhag administration at a cost of Nu 131.06 million (M).

Construction works on two water treatment plants, four reservoir tanks and approach roads to the two sources are on-going.

Project engineer, Tshering Tenzin, said that the current physical progress is about 65 percent. “We have almost completed laying all the pipes and all other major works are in full swing.”

Once completed, the water treatment plant in Shingchen Goenpa would pump 133.33ms cube water an hour. The smaller treatment plant in Yonphula would pump 2.5ms cube water an hour (60,000 litres per day).

Kanglung gup, Kinzang Dorji, said that although drinking water shortage in the gewog is not severe, the problem arises when people misuse the existing water supply.

“There are some places from where the water is kept overflowing resulting in a shortage to those living below. Almost 70 percent of the water is being misused as of now,” said the gup. “Despite our repeated reminders, the problem has continued which is why we have some households facing water shortage.”

The gup said that in order to curb the misuse from the new water supply, the gewog administration would implement a water metre system for residents living in the town area.

“For people in the villages, we would like to encourage every household to fit their water taps inside the houses,” he said. “When the water taps are located outside, people don’t bother closing it once they finish using the water.”

With the completion of the new water supply system, all five chiwogs including Sherubtse College, Kanglung shedra, offices and various schools would benefit.

There are more than 12,000 people living in the gewog today including the college, shedra, Project Dantak and schools.

Tshering Tenzin said that as per the project design report, the new water supply system is being built for the regional hub in Kanglung, which includes places like the airport, Khangma, Yonphula, Sherubtse College and Asamdelo village areas.

He said that for the present population of 6,830 as of 2015, the new water supply system would pump enough water to benefit all the households in the gewog.

Younten Tshedup | Yonphula