The Phuentsholing Thromde (municipality) has notified workshops and businesses along the banks of Amochhu to move out for safety reasons following the recent monsoon floods that threatened life and damaged property and stored hydropower project material worth millions of ngultrums.
“For the existing businesses we have issued a notification they relocate to their own land, if they have, and for those who don’t own land we have asked them to look for a space,” said Phuentsholing Thrompon, Uttam Kumar Rai. “The place is prone to flash floods and no permanent flood mitigation infrastructure can be constructed by Thromde. The only solution is to vacate the Amochhu bank.”
He said that, lately the Amochhu bank has become heavily occupied and people have started encroaching towards the river despite knowing that the river is threat to their life and property. “Henceforth, the thromde will monitor strictly and will not allow any business firms to be opened along the Amochhu banks,” he said.
The thrompon added that it was only because of the help of the Dessups, RBA, RBP and volunteers that most of businesses along the banks were able to save their property and evacuate on time.
Reacting to the notification, a few resturant owners said they are worried about their income since their main source of earning had been running resturants over many years.
Sherab, a workshop owner, said his business suffered only minor damaged in the recent flood. This was because he had built a concrete wall after he lost an excavator to floods last year.
“We are on the banks of Amochhu and such disasters happen each year,” Sherab said. “With no fortifications or protective measures in place, both settlement and business area are at direct risk. The persent location is not safe.”
Meanwhile, some of the workshop owners are still recovering from the flood disaster that has terminated their means livelihood. Those located in higher grounds are equallly affected as the road to their businesses has been completely washed away.
Most of the people along the Amocchu banks are of the opinion that the incident is a reminder to both government and individuals to have the area planned well against similair disasters in the future.
There are about 20 automobile workshops along the Amochhu bank. Sand bagging, river diversion and building walls are being carried out along the banks.