Pasakha Industrial Estate is one of the biggest Industrial hubs in the country where 36 registered heavy and medium industries are located. These industries have been contributing to the national economy through taxes and employment.
However, the estate is still not equipped with a fire brigade station and Basic Health Unit (BHU) the need of which is genuinely felt. With the recent incidence of fire in one of the industries, having a fire bridge station for immediate action to contain the fire would minimize risks on human lives and property. Millions of worth of machines and goods are lost to such incidences if the fire is not contained on time. And having to travel from Phuentsholing during such incidences would be late. The fire extinguishing machines and vehicles have to travel around 17 kilometers to reach the spot after a fire alert.
Also, pathetic road network to Pasakha Industrial Estate could at times block the vehicles from reaching the spot particularly during summer as there are multiple blocks along Kharbandi to Pasakha road.
Though, most of the industries have installed fire hydrant of smaller capacities in every plant, major fire incidences require bigger fire hydrants.
Already three fire incidences have occurred in Pasakha Industrial estate till now. And the fire extinguishers have been rushed from Phuentsholing which takes minimum of an hour to reach the spot.
The industrialists and the employees feel the necessity for a fire brigade station. The industries have been pushing for the facilities but in vain.
These industries are operated 24 hours a day and any accidents at odd hours would be a problem. Minor accidents occur on a daily basis at the plants. However, the plants have their own first aid facilities installed for immediate medical rescue. “But when major accidents happen as it is very much prone in heavy industries, they have to be rushed to Phuentsholing General Hospital, which could be late by the time the injured person is referred,” an employee at the industry said.
Only Bhutan Ferro Alloys Limited has a BHU at the plant currently. “During monsoon, if any major incidences and accidents happens, they there will be a problem without these two facilities. These have become very much necessary,” another employee said.
Having a BHU according to some staffs would also help the nearby villagers apart from the employees at the industries. Since, there are more than five villages nearby the industries in Pasakha, they too have to travel to Phuentsholing for minor medical treatment. The employees hope for Grade II BHU facilitated with nursing care with adequate staffs.
Association of Bhutanese Industries (ABI) has been pushing for the two facilities with the agencies concerned. Jochu Thinley, ABI’s General Secretary said that the association has talked with two insurance companies to assist in installing fire brigade machines few years back. But nothing has happened so far. If it’s done, it would also help the insurance companies in minimizing damages which ultimately helps the institutions in insurance payments. “RICBL has agreed to contribute but we are following up,” he said.
The health ministry has planned to install mobile health clinic in the estate in the 12th plan. Phuentsholing Thromde has recently completed Local Area Plan for the area and has earmarked the land for BHU and fire brigade station among others.
Thromde however does not have budget for the BHU and there is also no Thromde Health Officer. “We feel the necessity as it would help the industries and the public as well. Having health facility there would also decongest patients at Phuentsholing as minor injuries are also referred here which could have been treated if there was a BHU. We are working anyhow to install health facility and fire brigade office,” the Thrompon said.
Krishna Ghalley from Pasakha, P/ling