As the monsoon season has started urban areas across Bhutan show all their inadequacies in full glory. While in places like Thimphu roads get flooded and sewers get choked the less said about Phuentsholing and other urban centers the better.
However, considering that Thimphu Thromde is generally the best funded with the most manpower, it was disappointing to see the almost out of control drain clogs, mini-floods and choking sewage caused by a short spell of rain.
It was saddening to see the pictures and images of a flooded furniture shop caused by the sheer inadequacy of the Thimphu Thromde.
Everybody knows the monsoon was coming so the least that the Thromde should have done is to clear out drains and blockages in advance.
Another terrible impact of blocked or poor drains especially near highways and roads is that the water creates big potholes. Here again, the Thromde and Department of Roads could have saved a lot of unnecessary future expenditure in repairing roads by just repairing the drains. This is also true for the Phuentsholing Thromde which has some atrocious pot holed roads after the monsoons.
It is also this poor drainage that renders farm roads in the rural areas literally unusable during the monsoon season.
The Thimphu Thromde likes to place the blame on an old drainage infrastructure that cannot cope but there is also little that the Thromde seems to be doing to address the annual problem.
Not only Thimphu and Phuentsholing but another nationwide problem are water sources becoming dirty and brown in summer.
Here the Thromde officials in the towns and the Dzongkhag Administrations in the rural areas, instead of just throwing up their arms at the annual problem should put in place long term measures to ensure clean drinking water supply during the monsoons.
How difficult is it to supply a small population with decent water during the monsoons when all that is required is some proper source protection, storage and filtration.
Monsoon may be a time of bliss for our farmers but it is certainly does show the gross inadequacies and problems with our Thromdes and local governments in providing even the most basic facilities.
This is also the time of the year for travelers travelling long distances to be careful of landslides and falling bounders. Our contractors seem to be able to build roads by only bringing whole hills down during the monsoons.
The government and local government for more mundane issues and the National Disaster Management Authority for more serious problems should come up with concrete and long term measures to lessen our monsoon woes.
Building or fixing small drains and building proper water tanks are some simple but effective measures to start with.
Opinion by Tenzing Lamsang