Residents and commuters along the Babesa highway expect to get rid of the foul odor of sewage with a new waste water treatment plant expected to complete by March next year.
“The new treatment plant is expected to complete by March 2020 but the Thromde is trying to complete by December this year,” said Thimphu Thrompon, Kinlay Dorjee.
The intensity of odor increases when there is strong wind and rainfall and sometimes she loses appetite while taking food, said a 27-year-old shopkeeper residing near the waste water treatment pond, Tara Devi.
“The earlier the plant is constructed the better,” she added.
Rinchen Choden, another resident, said it is a good initiative from the government and it would benefit the increasing number of residents and buildings in the area.
Additionally, she said her two-year-old daughter frequently suffers from common cold and she feels it is because of the dust or foul odor from the sewerage plant.
Nowadays, the foul odor is not as strong as before but it does get bad sometimes, said a restaurant owner along the Babesa highway, Rinzin Choden.
The new plant with a sequencing batch reactor (SBR)will have higher capacity at 12mn liters per day as compared to the existing wastewater treatment pond of only 1.75mn liters per day.
The new plant is technology driven by SBR and all the phases of the treatment process would be sequentially treated within the same tank which has the mechanism to control the foul odor.
The construction of the plant began in 2016 after the existing pond exceeded its capacity.
All households and businesses located from Norzin Lam towards south including Olakha, Lungtenphu, Changzamtok, Changbangdu, Babesa, Serbithang, Wangchhutaba would have their sewer lines connected to the new treatment plant, said the Thimphu Thrompon.
The new plant occupies only three acres of land compared to the old 13 acres plant.
Technofab Engineering Limited, an Indian engineering and construction company was awarded the design and construction of the treatment plant.
Eighty five percent of the USD 14 mn project is funded by the Asian Development Bank and the remaining 15% by the finance ministry.
Urbanization in Bhutan is occurring at a moderate pace and by 2047, it is projected that more than half the total population (56.8%) will reside in urban areas, according to the population projection reports (2017-47).
The projection report also reveals that about 30% of the total population which is about 260,000 persons will reside in Thimphu Dzongkhag by 2047.
Thukten Zangpo from Thimphu