The improper construction of cement topped roads and lack of drainage systems in and around the automobile workshop area in Olakha by the Thimphu Thromde is posing a serious threat to not only the local businesses but also their health including that of customers who visit the area.
The gusty winds that flows via the Olarongchu and through the Wangchu tends blowing and sweep fine cement dust particles as a result of the improper construction of the basic civic amenities.
The workshop owners and workers shared their grievances with this paper.
The biggest problem is the cement dust from the cement topped roads within the workshop areas.
The owner of Tandin Workshop said that the Thimphu Thromde engineer had not done a good job of monitoring the contractor hired by the Thromde.
He said, “The contractor’s staff were mixing in much more mud and very less cement and as a result the cement roads are seeing a lot of dust and gravel coming out that creates a huge dust storm whenever the winds kick up.”
He like the other workshop owners and workers are afraid of the health implications of such fine cement particles on them.
Apart from the cement particles entering the lungs it is also an irritant for the eyes.
The proprietor of the Jangchub Automobile said, “We have lots of problems especially when the wind blows and kicks up the dust particles.”
“We also face a lot of problem while painting our vehicles. It is very difficult to paint the vehicle when the wind blows as the dust particles stick on it and it hampers our work progress,” said the owner.
He said it also sticks on spare parts and hinders the water servicing system.
Similarly, one owner of Automobile Workshop, who prefers to be anonymous said, “The dust is not only hampering our business but I am also concerned about our health.”
He said that the drainage system in this area is also very bad and some places were left bare even without parking lot spaces. He said it would be nice if Thimphu Thromde can look into getting vehicle that can sprinkle water and also if the thromde could enforce every proprietor to keep their surroundings clean.
He said if the Thromde could send the dustbin truck to the workshop daily, it would help maintain the cleanliness of the whole workshop area.
Ugyen Tshering, of Gaki Automobile said, the problem here is not only about dust but in summer there is a lot of problem with the huge volume of water flowing down the road.
“While we may face the problem of wind and dust right now, as the monsoon is around the corner the problem of water flowing down and stagnating around the parking lot is yet to start,” he said.
He pointed out that due to the lack of improper basic civic amenities like road, parking lot and drainage systems, people even refuse to come in this area.
“Last year I attended one of the workshop organized by the Thromde and requested them to look into these matters but so far the Thromde didn’t do anything in this area,” he said.
He said that the thromde didn’t even pave the parking lot and that he hired an excavator paying Nu 1500 per hour to pave it on his own.
“I would be grateful if Thromde could blacktop the road and make a proper drainage system in this area,” he said.
Ugyen also pointed to a power transmission system on the opposite side his workshop and with the water flowing down the road, he said there are high chances of a short circuit.
“If it happens, the whole area will be left without power, which is a must for welding, cutting and repairing works of the vehicle,” he said.
The Thromde has also left about 100 meters unpaved from Jangchub workshop till Thangkha automobile workshop.