Despite the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, people in the capital are facing water shortage. The Ministry of Health has been continuously advising people to wash their hands and maintain hygiene to fight against COVID-19.
However, not only is there an ongoing water shortage crisis in Thimphu, the Thimphu Thromde authorities including the Thrompon himself do not seem very bothered.
Zilukha area of Thimphu did not received drinking water supply from the Thimphu Thromde for more than 24 hours. The situation seems to be no better elsewhere in the city.
M. Mani Karbi said there was no water from evening at Changedaphu above Druk school. “So how do we keep our hygiene, forget about hand washing with soaps and how do we protect against coronavirus (COVID19).”
Tashi Pemo who stays below Bhutan Postal Corporation said, “We used to get water thrice a day for two hours. Ever since COVID-19 was detected, we did not receive timely water supply. It has been worse these days because there has been no water since Wednesday.”
Sangeeta Chhetri said that has been a water problem from day one of detection of COVID 19 in the Motithang Area.
Nima Zangmo who lives below the new BNB office said, “We don’t have access to water 24 by 7 but we were fine as long as it was supplied on time. However, we have no water since Wednesday.”
Anita Nepaul said there is an acute shortage in their area near Changzamtog school. “We need to wait almost 24 hours for a few buckets,” she said.
Jambay Tashi said that they have less water or a ‘Chu-rona Virus’ shortage in Samteling and Babena area.
Chado said that it has been two weeks without water in the Olakha area but it is only new that a few drops are coming.
Kargyel said that the Hong Market area near city parking gets water for 30 minutes only every two days.
People also talked about water shortage in Jungshina, Babesa near Babesa Primary School and Motithang Double turning and Changzamtog.
Despite Thimphu Thromde initiating a project worth Nu 400 mn, funded by the World Bank, to augment the existing water supply system for Thimphu, however water shortage still persist in many parts of Thimphu.
As a part of Central Water Supply Scheme (CWSS), Thimphu Thromde, with financial assistance from World Bank, started Nu 400 million project of 10 MLD water treatment plant at Taba, to improve urban infrastructure service in Northern Thimphu where no formal services are available, and also to augment the existing water supply system.
After missing several deadlines, Thromde started supplying water from Dodena from May 2019 and the residents of Thimphu Throm were supposed to receive 24 hours water supply, but that is not yet the case.
Thromde planned to improve the water system in Norzin Lam and Changzamtog areas but even after the completion of the project, the areas still face water shortages.
Meanwhile, The Bhutanese tried calling various Thromde authorities but there was no response.
In fact people had complained to the paper saying that when they did call Thimphu Thromde there would either be no response or a response would only come after great difficulty and this seemed to be the case with non-response to the repeated calls.
The Thrompon said he has ‘no comments’ on the matter when contacted on his phone line.