Every summer, the issue of poor drainage crops up in and around Thimphu with footpaths and roads overflowing with rain water mixed with excesses from sewerage and kitchen.
However, according to Thimphu Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee, the reason for the excessive flow of rainwater could be global warming. “If we extend the drains in which the rainwater usually flows there should be extra budget particularly for it,” he said, adding there are no resources for the construction and people need to adjust as per the budget available.
“We experience heavy rain only for a month in a year and the rest of the time, it would be a waste of capital; it will only occupy the space of the road.” Moreover, he said the issue occurs only when there is a rainfall every day. “If we construct and enlarge the size of the drains, it would be effective only during summer time and for the rest of the year it would be a waste of the resources.”
He said the problem is not a “serious matter” as it does not inflict suffering. “Only the tire of a vehicle might be submerged in the rainwater, not the body of the driver which means we can adjust with the situation,” he said, adding other countries’ experiences are worse than what we go through.
He said the reasons for heavy rain could be due to global warming, cloudburst- where there would not be rainfall in all the areas with the same density, and flashfloods, “but we cannot construct drains according to the changes in climatic conditions.”
Additionally, he informed that to address the issue, the city has made a smaller hole at the side of the drains in almost all the areas in Thimphu. The holes will help the water to flow on the roadside into the drain. However, when there is excessive rainfall, the rainwater overflows along the roads and the side of the drains which is the current issue being faced during the monsoon season.
Further, he said they are examining the issue in a particular area where there is an issue of stagnant and overflowing of rainwater. “The engineers were sent to look into the matter when there was heavy rainfall; when the rain stops, they will see what can be done to maintain such problems,” he said.
He advises the general public not to throw waste in the drains as it blocks the way for the water to pass through. Besides, the public are informed not to put water pipes and cables under the drain as it also blocks the drain. “People should appeal to the city for putting water pipes and cables in drains as we are the right authority.”
Tenzin Lhamo from Thimphu