Bursting pipes hamper water supply to Thimphu from Dodena Project

After missing several deadlines, Thimphu thromde has finally started supplying water from Dodena Water Supply Scheme Project but is currently facing several problems like bursting of water pipelines particularly in Langjophakha and Samarzingkha, which has not only caused inconveniences but also affected a few households residing near water tanks.

Thimphu Thromde and the World Bank has completed the first phase of the project which is the construction of intake, transmission from Dodena to Taba, trunk lines, distribution reservoirs and construction of a 10 MLD water treatment plant at Taba.

The second phase of the project is supplying water from Dodena to water treatment plant at Taba and various households, which is the biggest challenge as people witnessed several problems of bursting pipelines from increasing pressure while raw water from Dodena was transmitted to treatment plant which took more than three months.

In order to test the pipelines, thromde started supplying water to three clear water reservoirs of 230,000 liters capacity each located at Changjiji, Yangchenphug and Langjophakha but it encountered similar problems like bursting of pipelines from lack of coordination between the Thromde and the World Bank hired project staff.

Aum Wangmo who is staying in a traditional Bhutanese house in Langjophakha near Wood Craft Center said, “Pipeline bursting has destroyed my house and furniture but we were lucky that there were a few thromde official and people around who were able to put off the main switch of the tank on time.” She said, “Thromde said that they will pay compensation for the destruction but so far nothing has been done”.

An official said, “The burst took place in the first place as thromde supplied water from the plant before time, which is a huge lapse on their part. We were working on the pipelines but thromde supplied water without consulting us. The force and the pressure of water were so huge that it would have washed way the whole building if it continued for another thirty minutes.”

Pema Thekchong thromde official from Water Supply Division said, “Everything is under control and thromde has repaired all the pipelines and started supplying water to various locations like Changjiji, Langjophakha and Yangchenphug areas. As we are supplying water to Changjiji, Yangchenphug, and Langjophakha, 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 improve 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.”

Pema Thekchong, said, “The water from Dodena will be sufficient for 100,000 people at Taba, Jungshina-Pamtsho, Hejo –Samteling, Langjophakha Yangchenphug, 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, “Thromde is planning to divert water to places like Norzin Lam where water problem is more common. Dodena Water supply scheme will have a direct impact on places like Changjiji, Yangchenphug, and Langjophakha. Thromde have supplied water to Langjophakha, Changjiji and Yangchenphug reservoir tank but while supplying water to Langjophakha and Yangchenphug tank there were several bursting at Langjophakha and Samarzingkha which has affected the households.”

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 that the Thromde will ensure that all connection is metered as we are doing now and cut down on the wastage 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 will be penalized.

The project worth Nu 401.858 mn was funded by the World Bank.

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