Flash flood impact assessment being carried out for Sarpang: Dzongda

No major damages in Gelephu Thromde

The recent Mao Chhu flashflood in Sarpang caused a national tragedy as four brave soldiers lost their lives in an attempt to battle the fierce waters for a rescue operation. The Mao Chhu flashflood reportedly damaged around 5 km area around the banks.

Sarpang Dzongda, Karma Galey, said that a detailed assessment of the damage is being done around the banks, other affected areas and infrastructure.

According to the Dzongda, damages range from washed away electric poles, pipelines and walls that include a section of the Bhutan Football Federation’s wall washed away by the flood. He said that paddy fields damage was mostly controlled with the assistance of the rescuers.

There were no major damages reported in Gelephu Thromde. The Chief Engineer for Infrastructure, Gelephu Thromde, Ugyen Dorji, said, “The only problem is that due to the continuous rainfall, the operators are not being stationed at the water treatment plant.”

 Gelephu Thrompon said, “It is not the tank that has been spoiled but maybe around 4 to 5 electricity posts that have been damaged by the flood. To restore the electricity line and reach the electricity to the tank is actually taking time, but complete interruption of water supply did not happen luckily.”

 He added that continuous water supply in homes would be possible within a few days’ time.

He said, “We are always compelled to invest a certain percent of our administration’s finances there every year because it protects, not only the water treatment plant which is the lifeline of the Gelephu Thromde, but it prevents the flow of the angry water into the thromde area which consists of paddy fields, important structures like sewerage treatment plant, and other structures which the people rely on for livelihood.”

 Gelephu Thrompon said that the unpredictable nature and the wrath of the Mao Chhu is a perpetual challenge for the administration. Therefore, the thromde, within its capacity, has been allocating much of its budget towards water level retention efforts and infrastructure repairs and upgradation.

He said, “This time, the flood was not as devastating as the 2016 flashflood where the impact was huge and almost 80 percent of the water supply was interrupted for days, and there was a chronic water supply crisis in Gelephu then.”

He added that the flood took place from a higher side this year causing a breach in the retaining structures. The water current was too strong for the support staff to counter. Almost half of the Mao Chhu being diverted to the side of the rescue operation was very unfortunate, he added.

 According to the Thrompon, provision for a more permanent solution has been intimated to the Prime Minister. There is a need of bigger high-grade infrastructure projects that could permanently solve the seasonal destruction caused mainly by the monsoon deluge.

He added that there are other Government to Business (G2B) projects in line, with one being a project handed to a Netherlands based firm, and currently in the second phase being done along with the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement.

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