Trashigang is the happening hub of the east but it lacks enough properly maintained public toilets.
The town has two public toilets: one located below the bus station and another near the vegetable market. But while the latter is being maintained by a vendor, the one near the bus condition is in poor condition.
With travelers from Mongar and Trashiyangtse visiting the dzongkhag frequently, sanitation has become a major issue for them.
Sonam Om, traveling on a local bus from Trashigang to Mongar said that the public toilet below the bus station is usually blocked with sticks and stones and is not usable. “The hotels won’t allow us to use their toilets without availing their services.”
She said that despite the continuous supply of water and buckets provided by the municipality, people do not take initiative to keep the toilet clean.
Dzongkhag Engineer Sherab said that due to construction work of the new parking area recently the municipality could not clean or maintain the toilet as all the water supplies were blocked.
“Though we have now cleaned the toilet, due to limited sweepers in the office, it is not possible to send sweepers time and again to clean the toilet,” said the engineer.
A shop owner near the bus station said that the smell from the public toilet is affecting her business. “I think it will be better if the authority concerned can recruit a caretaker to take care of the situation.”
A resident from Trashigang said that with increasing numbers of visitors to the town, the problem will only worsen.
He said it is high time people started exercising their civic sense.
“When resources like water are freely available, it is pathetic to see the condition of the toilet.”
Another resident suggested that the dzongkhag authorities can start with pay and use system to keep the toilets clean. “Public toilets lack caretakers so if we have such a system in place they can be compensated for maintaining the facilities.”
Meanwhile, Sherab said they have plans to recruit a caretaker soon. “We will begin with pay and use system.”
The municipal office plans to build more public toilets in the town in the 12th Five Year Plan.
Jigme Wangchen from Trashigang