Another tension filled month-long wait for Nu 401 mn Dodena water to reach Thimphu after major pipe burst

The Thimphu Thromde said that water from Dodena has reached treatment plant at Taba but it might need another one month or more to commission the project.

Nakphel Drukpa, Head of Water Supply Division under Thimphu thromde said, “While supplying water to treatment plant, as we could not maintain normal water pressure which is vital for water supply pipes to function properly and so we faced problem of burst pipe or a failed plumbing fixture.”

He further said, “It took us more than one month to fix the problem but for now we are happy that the water has reached the treatment plant and that’s the biggest achievement for us. Thromde knew that small issues like water pipe breaking from time to time would happen. For a big project like this, small problems can happen but we have to give time.”

However, the next challenge is to supply this water from Taba to other places withouth any incident.

“The connection line from Dodena is as big as 350 millimeters but the connection line from Taba to other places is not so big but it is still 200 millimeters. As we have to supply water to so many areas it will not be easy,” Nakphel said.

He said the current delay is due to the fact that the water treatment plant at Taba is new and several components of water treatment plant like tanks, basins and pumps are also new, and so Thromde should ensure that all the components of water treatment plant are working well before it is handed over to it.

He said, “Raw water from Dodena has reached the treatment plant but before it is treated, thromde must make sure that the quality of raw water is assessed. The quality of raw water can affect the treatment necessary for drinking water. Raw water quality assessment is carried out to classify the pollution level and in order to improve the adaptability of drinking water treatment and to stabilize the overall quality of treatment.”

Thimphu thromde has total water carrying capacity of 22 Million Liters per Day (MLD) at present but the water demand is forecasted to be 36 MLD by 2030 which will result in a deficit of 14 MLD.

In order to meet the expected deficit of about 14 MLD, Thimphu Thromde came up with  Dodena through financing assistance from the World Bank.

According to Thimphu Thromde, once operational, the plant will operate at 10 MLD depending on the water demand but if there is a need, thromde can increase the capacity to 15 MLD.

The project worth Nu 401.858 mn is funded by the World Bank and covers two packages. Package one includes construction of intake, transmission from Dodena to Taba, trunk lines and distribution reservoirs.

A RCC intake structure has been constructed on one of the tributaries of Wangchu which flows between Chari and Tango Monastery about 1.3 Km upstream from Chari monastery parking. Thromde has also constructed a pre-sedimentation tank with a capacity of 800 cubic meters (cum) at Dodena.

Ductile Iron pipes of 350 mm diameter will be used to supply the raw water to the plant at Taba, which is about 14 km from the intake. The pipeline alignment flows near the existing road for convenience and easy access. Four clear water reservoirs are built at Taba, Samteling, Pamtsho, and Langjophakha.

The project involves the construction of a 10 MLD water treatment plant at Taba. The Water Treatment Plant is located near Wangchuk resort at Taba. Raw water from Dodena will be treated and supplied to four clear water reservoirs of 230,000 liters capacity each located at Taba, Pamtsho, Samteling, and Langjophakha.

Nakphel said, “The water from Dodena shall be sufficient for 100,000 people at Taba, Jungshina-Pamtsho, Hejo –Samteling, Langjophakha Yangchenphu, and Changjiji Housing Colony. Further, it is also expected to augment the existing water supply shortages for the urban core area especially in the Norzin Lam area.”

He said, “Dodena Water supply scheme will have a direct impact on places like Changjiji, Yangchenphu, and Langjophakha where water shortage is very common. At present, Jungshina treatment plant supplies water to Changjiji and Langjophakha and Motithang treatment plant”.

He further said, “Once we receive water from Dodena, it will supply water to northern LAP and Taba LAP, Samteling and Pamtsho. Dodena will also supply water to Changjiji, Yangchenphu, and Langjophakha which means we don’t have to supply water to these areas from the present supply. This also means that water from Motithang and Jungshina treatment plant can be supplied to core town areas, hospital areas, and Changzamtog areas. This is how it will have an impact or improvement in the current water supply system to the extent that there is going to be a rearrangement of water supply and rearrangement of the distribution system.”

“Dechencholing is provided water for 24 hours in a day from Dechencholing treatment plant and Chamgang plant caters adequate water to places in the south like Babesa, Olakha, and Simtokha,” he added.

He said, “While Dodena project is one input to provide water for 24 hours in a day which is one of the thromde’s priorities in the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP), people should know how to manage it properly because if people don’t manage it properly, water will never be sufficient even if thromde provide 10 or 15 mn liters per day.”

He also said, “Thromde will ensure that all connection is metered as we are doing now and cut down on the wastages for which tshogde has approved penalties. Firstly thromde will issue a notification that consumers are not allowed to waste water and if anyone is found wasting, they shall be penalized.”

“Out of 20 MLD, 37 percent is lost in the system which is why management of water is important”, he added.

“In order to improve the water supply, we also need to improve the distribution network and distribution network has undergone rehabilitation, we have extended to put new distribution networks”, he said.

Nakphel said, “Water shortage resulting from the formation of ice and freezing at water connections and intakes is not possible because we have used water pipes with a diameter of 14 inches and with such thickness, there is no formation of ice”.

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