Residents of Samdrupjongkhar thromde are still struggling with an acute water shortage.
For the past few weeks, residents of upper (toed) and middle (bar) thromde did not receive water supply as the thromde’s main diversion damn was washed away and the water pump at Pinchina was damaged by the recent heavy rainfall.
A resident, Dorji Wangchuk, said he fetches water from a pond near the automobile workshops, about a kilometer from his home. “It is challenging because we have to stay in queue as everyone comes to fetch water from a pond.”
He said the issue needs to be taken seriously in summer. “Whom do we rely on if the thromde administration is not able to supply water?” Dorji Wangchuk said.
Another resident, Sangay Tshomo, said the water problem in the thromde had improved compared to the past.
She said the problem occurs during monsoon because landslides wash away the pipelines. “There are high chances for the situation to worsen if the thromde does not come up with permanent measures.”
Karma Wangdi, 48, said people are suffering today because the planning and technical systems among others are all copied from other countries. “This should be done within our capability.”
He said the survey should be carried out in summer when the water volume is high, as it will help understand what kinds of measures to take to protect the pipelines.
What is thromde doing?
Officials from the thromde’s water section are carrying out maintenance and repairing works day and night.
Thromde’s executive secretary, Tougay Choedup, said residents of upper and middle thromde areas are facing water problem because the water pump house at Pinchina was damaged and diversion dam at Rikhechu was washed away. There is no water problem in lower thromde as they were supplied from the bore well.
He said thromde officials are working to restore the water pump and have connected pipelines to the Pinchina reservoir from Rikhechu.
Thromde administration has spent about Nu 30,000 for repairing and maintenance works.
Water is also supplied through tankers whenever required for washing purpose, as it is not treated water.
Tougay Choedup said although the pipelines and supporting pillars among others are old, they supply water carrying out maintenance and repairing works because of the upcoming distribution line or network project worth USD 1.22M.
He said that the project would start this year as the thromde administration is in the process of finalising the tender. “The water shortage in the thromde will be addressed once the project is completed.”
He said thromde also tried to explore two bore wells near the automobile workshops and State Mining Corporation Ltd office for LAP 2 and LAP 3. “We didn’t get water even after digging more than 250 metres deep. We spent Nu 800,000 on this.”
Kelzang Wangchuk| Samdrupjongkhar