Much of Thimphu is clean, at least for the time being, thanks to the waste management control carried by the Thimphu Thromde and Greener Way. But it seems there are always some nooks and corners around Thimphu where garbage, mainly waste plastics and papers, are thrown and pile up. One such place for careless garbage dumping is the underpass way along the Doebum Lam. Other areas are the Thimphu-Babesa expressway and the city bus parking.
The underpass way is particularly filthy and it has also become a hub for youngsters dating and for the meeting of gangs. Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said the underpass is a cause of concern for the thromde. Therefore, modification work plans have been laid for the underpass way. “The work will be starting as soon as possible, which may take around few months for the work to begin after design and budget estimation,” said the Thrompon.
The underpass way will have proper lights for the people to pass safely during night time and will also be equipped with CCTV to monitor the activities in the pass. Those caught throwing their garbage via CCTV footage will be penalized. According to the Thrompon, the footage may even be shown on BBS so that the people will become more aware. He said it is difficult to change the mindset of the people so an effective way is through fine imposition, where the defaulters have to pay Nu 500 on being caught each time.
The underpass design will incorporate tiled flooring, proper drainage and shop areas where people can sell vegetables and food items. There will be gates placed on both ends of the pass as the movement in the underpass will not be allowed beyond 10pm, after which the gates will be locked.
According a Thimphu resident, Dechen Wangmo, “It must be due to delay of garbage trucks that the people are encouraged to throw the wastes in this place.”
Operational head with Greener Way, Dorji Wangchuk, said, “No one uses this underpass way and it’s not safe for women to pass through that way. It is not even safe for men.”
As for the problems with waste disposal, he also said the fault is not only on the people’s part, but also on the implementing agency that has to make the people aware on the rules. Greener Way will also be coming up with the plan to impose fines on the defaulters.
He said that Greener Way not only collects and segregates wastes, but raises awareness on waste disposal and management, especially in schools and on social media like, their Facebook page. The company recruited 30 interns for one month to educate people on waste disposal and management in central and south zone in January.