Saturday, 26 April 2008

Thimphu’s dry season

24 April, 2008 - Every year, around this time of the year, at least one third of the city residents in Thimphu suffer from an acute shortage of water supply.

This year, too, the story is the same.

As people are seen carrying jerry cans in hands and in cars fetching water, residents are bitterly complaining that the Thimphu city corporation should have a proper water supply to the capital city.

Hotelier Dorji Phuntsho at the heart of town said that the water problem would get better if the city corporation finds additional sources, builds reserve tanks and multiplies plumbers. “As the city grows, water will still be a problem in future and the city corporation ought to have a responsibility not to make it worse,” he said.

In Changzamtog, a densely populated area in the city, the water problem has been very insistent and periodic. “About four households in a building vacated because of the water problem,” said a building supervisor, Sonam Phuntsho. “The irony is that Bhutan is known to be a country with rich water sources and forest but, in the midst of this abundance, we still face a acute water shortage.”

Durga Lal Dalal of Mid Point restaurant said that he had to close down the restaurant, as there was no water for one whole day. “This is the tourist season and we have so many customers but, without water, it’s difficult to manage the kitchen,” he said.

“We can’t just do with dirty toilets and unclean places for customers. We even had to borrow water from a neighbour who is not happy as we always go there,” he added.

The shopkeepers in Zangdopelri complex also raised concerns on how they had to fight with the management regarding water. “We sometimes go till Dechenphodrang to fetch water for our restaurant,” said a restaurant owner. “Paying high bills for water is not a problem, but what we really need is service.”

The officials from the water supply division of city corporation said that water shortage at this time of year is a natural phenomenon. “The shortage of water supply is mainly because of less yield at water sources,” said the head of water supply Nakphey. “While long term plans are in place, it demands a big investment and we can only advise water users to make best use of a limited resource.”

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