Amochhu water treatment plant ongoing under water flagship program

Environment

The Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) said that assessment for River Bank Filtration for Amochhu Water Treatment Plant (WTP) in Phuentsholing is ongoing with experts from Germany from March 2 to 6 under the water flagship program.

Sharing the key updates of the flagship program updates for February on March 5, water flagship program’s coordinator, Chimi Dema, said they need to carry out collection of data, including samples and analysis and hydrological assessment with assistance from Department of Geology and Mines. The study outcome would be ready by June 2020.

Moreover, the terms of reference for Design, Build, Operate, and Transfer (DBOT) for WTP was submitted by Phuentsholing Thromde, and Project Management Unit (PMU) would review the DBOT and accordingly tendered out on the assessment.

Additionally, survey of Amochhu main transmission line and Omchhu WTP in Phuentsholing was completed while PMU would review the need for treatment plant and ready the tender documents for Omchu.

Chimi Dema also said the flagship secretariat conducted site visit monitoring to Amochhu and Omchhu in February.

For Amochhu site, water will be pumped up to the hill at around an elevation of 50 to 100m and main distribution line passing through Amochu Township development Area and connection to reservoir would be constructed near Youth Development Fund or Phuntsholing School.

The water would be distributed to five to six local area plans of Phuentsholing Thromde, added Chimi Dema.

The flagship secretariat observed that the main transmission line for the Amochu scheme falls along the road that is not yet well developed and the new township area may have coordination issues.

Additionally, the secretariat found that the area identified for main distribution line from the source to the reservoir are along the highway and may be prone to landslides and may have effect from river dredging. However, Chimi Dema said the Project Engineer provided assurance on the stability.

Moreover, she said the the Project engineer was concerned that the water and sanitation division, Thromde would be understaffed when the project starts.

GNHC assured that it would look into duplication and consolidation with Amochhu Township Development Project.

For the Samtse and Dagana water project, the work was awarded and agreement signed for Dhamdum pump gallery and work would commence, according to flagship secretariat.

Moreover, the design of intake and transmission for Samtse Municipality is ongoing and PMU expects to send the design to Project Implementation Units by March end to float the tendering by June.

The PMU also reviewed and approved Rural Water Supply Scheme in gewogs namely Phuntshopelri, Denchukha, Dhopuchen, Dumtoed in Samtse Dzongkhag and Dorona, Drujeygang, Kana, Khebesa, Laja, Lhamoezingkha, Karmaling and Nichula in Dagana Dzongkhag.

Gewogs under Samtse has placed the material orders while gewogs under Dagana Dzongkhag would place material orders.

The water flagship program has a resource gap of Nu 1.925bn of the total Nu 3bn budget outlay according to the Plan Monitoring Coordination Division (PMCD), Gross National Happiness Commission. 

For this fiscal year 2019-20, the approved budget for the water flagship was Nu 500mn however, it was revised to Nu 343mn during the flagship mid-term review.

The PMCD has released budget of Nu 119mn currently and anticipates utilization of Nu 223mn by this fiscal year.

Prime Minister, Dr Lotay Tshering said there was no need to follow any financial rules of June or fiscal year closing.

Additionally, Lyonchhen said the flagship program could look into the water related budget allocated to agencies in gewogs, Dzongkhags and Thromdes and appropriately coordinate with water flagship program.

Lyonchhen said that water problem would be resolved if 90% of the problem is addressed in Thimphu since 0.15mn population lives in Thimphu alone.

Thukten Zangpo from Thimphu

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