Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

The students of the Gyalpoizhing College of Information Technology (GCIT) face water issues not only in the lean winter months, but also in peak monsoon season.

In summer, the faculty and students blame the monsoon rain that triggers erosion and flash floods along the newly constructed farm roads for washing the pipelines away. In winter, the problem is a drying water source.

Students said maintaining hygiene has been difficult in summer when they cannot bathe for days due to water scarcity. They also claimed the water is undrinkable due to hygiene issues.

“Even if it’s maintained, the water is muddy,” a student said.

The pipelines were connected from a source that caters to Gyalpoizhing town, but at a different point.

Students said they manage with packaged water bottles bought in bulk from Bhutan Agro Industries in Lingmethang.

The deputy chief councillor, Choki Lhamu, said students consume about 60 to 70 cartons of water that are delivered in a van by Bhutan Agro in a week. “They cater as and when we place the order and availing it instantly is not so difficult, but not all students can afford it.”

However, for cleaning and washing purposes, the college management is exploring some possible solutions.

GCIT president Lhatu Jamba said the water distribution is managed on a rotational basis between faculty members and students due to the current water scarcity. “Students get their share of water connected to hostels during the day and diverted to faculty at night.”

He also agreed that the water is brown and unhygienic in summer due to erosion from the farm roads.

In order to address the issues, Lhatu Jamba said the college is planning to pump in water from the Kurichhu river below for the students to wash their clothes. “We’re also planning to dig a borewell on the campus but we could not bring the machines in, as the only two machines in the country are not functioning. The Covid-19 pandemic has hampered bringing in technical persons to service them.”

Edited by Tashi Dema