Thimphu hotels hit with water shortage due to drying sources in Motithang

This is as the peak tourist season comes up

Hotels in Norzin lam are facing an acute water shortage because water sources in Motithang that supply water to Norzin Lam areas are drying up. The other cause is also due to the fact that water from the Motithang treatment plant supplies water to so many areas, including Norzin Lam.

Almost all hotels in Thimphu face water shortage but hotels located in Norzin lam are affected the most. Hoteliers appealed to the Thimphu thromde several times but the situation remains the same every year.

The Executive Director of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Bhutan (HRAB) Sangeeta Rana wrote a letter to Thimphu thromde seeking thromde’s help in addressing the issue of water shortage. She wrote that hotels in Norzin lam are having a severe water shortage and if the problem is not addressed, it will affect their businesses as peak tourists season is nearing and more tourists are expected to visit the country.

Nidup, Assistant Manager of Druk Hotel said, “All the hotels in Norzin Lam are having water shortage and I am afraid that if this is not addressed, the hotel business will be affected badly. Thimphu thromde supplies water twice a day but everyone staying in Norzin lam would agree that the water that thromde supplies is not sufficient.”

He said, “The peak tourist season starts in March and during the season more than 50 percent of our rooms get occupied. If we don’t have water, we won’t be able to provide better services. Right now, we have hired tankers and we are pumping water from Jungshina”.

“We appealed to thromde several times in the past but we were always sent back saying that they will look into the matter but nothing was done. This time also, we are told that the water shortage is because of drying sources and thromde assured us that with the completion of the World Bank Dodena Project, water issues shall be resolved. So we are waiting for the project to begin”, he added.

A City Hotel employee said, “Water shortage is always an issue no matter where the hotel is located, whether it is in the middle of the town or outside of town. As compared to the hotels that are located far away from town, hotels in the core town areas will face water shortage more often.”

Most hoteliers in Norzin lam or core town areas shared that since Thromde water supply is not sufficient, hotels hire tankers and those hotels without tanker suffer the most.

Pema Thekchong from Water Supply Division under Thimphu Thromde said, “According to Indian Standard of 1993, the minimum water requirement for hotels is 180 liters per bed per day and 70 liters per chair per day.

But at present, Thromde is not able to provide the same amount of water that is required as per the Indian standard. Thromde supplies water twice a day to hotels located outside Norzin lam and thrice a day to hotels in core town area.”

He said, “The main reason for water shortage in core town area is because water sources at Motithang which supplies water to Norzin lam are drying up especially in winter. The water source at Motithang is about 7000 cubic meter from the normal 9000 cubic meters. Water will be sufficient only if we have water production of 9000 cubic meters.”

He further said that water shortages in Norzin Lam is also because the water treatment plant in Motithang provides water to many areas like Kuengachholing, Kawajangsa, Upper Motithang, Changangkha, main Motithang area, Chubachu and Changzamtog including Norzin lam areas.

He said that with the completion of Dodena water supply scheme project, all the water-related issues will be resolved because it is expected to address the existing water supply shortages for the urban core area especially in the Norzin Lam area.

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

He also said that once water plant from Dodena is operational, the Thromde will then supply water to the northern Local Area Plan (LAP) and Taba LAP, Samteling and Pamtsho which have nothing to do with the present water supply distribution. Dodena will also supply water to Changjiji, Yangchenphug, and Langjophakha which he said means it they 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,” he claimed.

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