S/jongkhar water treatment plant misses second construction deadline

The construction of the water treatment plant in SamdrupJongkhar which was supposed to be completed by October last year missed its second deadline on April 31, 2018.

The deadline has now been extended to November this year.

Residents said that the construction of the water treatment plant began two years back and the work progress is very slow.

Sherab, a town resident said that as the water treatment plant keeps on missing its construction deadline, residents have been facing severe water shortage and some residents struggle without drinking water.

Another resident, Sangay Om said that sometimes people have to suffer without water for as long as a week. “Without water at homes, people carry water in their vehicles while those who don’t have cars are spending hours every day traveling to the pond and carrying water.”

Similarly, a shopkeeper said that as the water treatment plant has missed its completion deadlines, SamdrupJongkhar town has been struggling with an acute shortage of drinking water.

“Without continuous water supply, we can’t maintain cleanliness and hygiene,” she said adding that it hampers business too.

Thromde’s chief engineer PemChokey said that there is no denying that there is water problem in the locality. “The thromde has not been able to supply sufficient clean water to all the residents due to delay in the construction of water treatment plant.”

The joint venture company-which involves a Bhutanese construction firm and a Nepal based company started the construction of the water treatment plant in May 2016.

“The company missed the deadline two times; actually the work was supposed to be completed by October last year,” said the chief engineer.

Additionally, she said that the company missed the deadline and sought an extension of six months. The new deadline was marked on April 31, 2018. “But the company failed to complete the work on time.”

“Upon request by the company to provide another extension, the thromde has extended the deadline to November this year,” she said. The company has justified the delay in construction with the reason that there were many more components to be installed in the water treatment plant, which were not mentioned in the document.

Meanwhile, the engineer said that residents are supplied water through the existing water sources. “Since the pipelines are located on the hilly areas, landslides wash away the pipes when there is heavy rain.”

However, the engineer said that when there is water shortage, the  thromde supplies water through tankers.

She said more than 70% of the works on the water treatment tank has been completed. “We are confident that SamdrupJongkharthromde can supply sufficient and clean water to all the residents once the project is complete,” she added.

The estimated budget for the construction of the water treatment plant is Nu 89mn.

There are three water sources for SamdrupJongkharthromde: Pinchina, Dungsam and Rikhechu.

JigmeWangchen from SamdrupJongkhar