PM inaugurates De-suung water supply pilot project in Semjong, Tsirang

The pilot project was completed at a cost of Nu 28.24mn

Prime Minister Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering graced the inauguration ceremony of the Semjong integrated water supply scheme in Tsirang yesterday.

Officials from the HMS (His Majesty’s Secretariat), MoAF, MoWHS, Armed Forces, De-suung, and DHI also joined the local government and the people of Dangreygang Chiwog, Semjong Gewog to mark the handing over of the project to the local government.

Speaking at the ceremony, Lyonchen commended the De-suups, armed forces and Dzongkhag and Gewog officials for their dedication and hard work which has translated His Majesty The King’s vision into tangible projects and transformed the lives of the people in the community.

Lyonchen underscored the importance of water and urged the people to take ownership of the project. 

He also expressed optimism that with the various initiatives underway in the country, Bhutan could develop expertise in water management and become a center of excellence in the future.

Located in Dangreygang Chiwog, the scheme was launched upon the command of His Majesty The King on November 25, 2020. The Semjong project was the second pilot project, after Guma in Punakha, to be executed under the De-suung National Service Water Project.

Meanwhile, the successful launch of the two pilot projects paved the way for the launch of a series of water projects in partnership with the government’s Water Flagship Program. To date the De-suups have volunteered in several projects in 20 Dzongkhags and completed 19 water projects and eight projects are in various stages of completion. 

In Semjong, over 50 De-suup volunteers, under the command of Lt. Tshering Dorji from the RBA and technical supervision of Project Engineer Tshering Wangchuk from Tsirang Dzongkhag, implemented the integrated scheme which will provide drinking water to 72 households and dryland irrigation covering a command area of 210 acres, benefiting 571 people in Dangreygang.

The pilot project was completed at a cost of Nu 28.24mn.

 Further, the Semjong water supply scheme is reportedly the first large scale automated system where the operator and users can remotely check the availability of water in the reservoir, the flow of water in the network and control the inflow and outflow of water from the reservoir into the farmland, which is divided into eight distribution zones.

For this, different sensors and actuators have been installed for real-time monitoring and control, which can be visualized through a web application developed for the project. Relevant Gewog officials have been trained to operate the automated system which will improve water use efficiency. The entire system, which is cloud based, can be monitored and controlled from a mobile phone.

To carry out proper operation and maintenance of the integrated water supply scheme, the villagers with support from the Dzongkhag and Gewog Administrations recently formed the Dangreygang Kuenphen Water Users Group to take over the scheme. A Standard Operating Procedure for Monitoring and Evaluation of the scheme has been developed which aims to leverage the web-based automation system to record and report about the scheme’s performance.

The Users Group plans to convert about 14 acres of fallow land into agricultural land, especially for winter crops. The Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector has initiated a support program for the villagers of Dangreygang Chiwog under which varieties of vegetable seeds, fruit tree saplings, greenhouses, and mulching plastic sheets were provided including demonstrations on the use of new organic technologies. 

Yenten Thinley from Thimphu

Picture Courtesy: De-suung – Guardians of Peace (Facebook)