Crack meters installed to monitor cracks in Kuenga Rabten

Crack meters have been set up to monitor the nature of cracks in Kuenga Rabten in Draagteng Gewog, Trongsa, according to Minister of Economic Affairs Loknath Sharma during the press meet yesterday.

The locals of Kuenga Rabten, meanwhile, complained about cracks appearing in the walls and pillars of their homes earlier this year and alleged that the cause was due to the Mangdechhu Hydropower Plant’s tunnel, which runs beneath their village.

However, Lyonpo Loknath Sharma said cracks due to hydropower plants are first experience.

The minister said after the complaint, the first assumption was that it was happening due to the leakage of water and that it might continue in the future. Immediately after the complaint, a task force team of experts from the Dzongkhag, geologists from Department of Geology and Mines and Druk Green Power Cooperation conducted the study.

The minister said the team did not find any discharge of water from the tunnel and the impact of cracks due to the current water discharge was ruled out.

“However, what was not ruled out either was whether the cracks were because of constructing a big size of tunnel or blasting activities. Probably, there might be some disturbances on earth; temporary hollow might have been created somewhere. As per the experts, it settles in future and would not continue,” Lyonpo Loknath Sharma said.

As they are not satisfied with the results, the minister said crack meters are set up to monitor the nature of cracks and water discharge.

Lyonpo also said such cracks never happened in the past and some people claim that it might be because of the earthquake in Mongar.

“It is the moral responsibility of the government to correct and address the issue with immediate measures taken,” said Loknath Sharma, assuring to take continuous assessment to make sure it does not become a bigger problem in the future.

“We will look into hydropower plants developed in other countries, and how the establishment and settlement happens after the bombardments in hydropower plants and tunnels,” he added. 

Thukten Zangpo from Thimphu