Sunday, May 15, 2011

Water Problem in Thimphu is Killing Me


I am inwardly wailing at this problem. It has been going on for so long. I have been contemplating on calling my house owner to ask her if she knows about it and whether she is trying to solve it. But for so many times, I argued over it in my mind and did not call her. I think she knows. And even if she knows, I think she doesn’t care enough to the extent of seeing her tenants’ welfare. We know that the water supply is included in the essential service, don’t we? It means under no excuse should it be deprived. 

I have had no running water in my kitchen for more than a month. I get water for a limited time in the morning and evening in the bathroom. My family and I have to be ready to collect water in the buckets at that time or we have to risk staying unhygienic to the extent you can imagine. Imagine an un-flushed toilet – this will be able to give us a picture of how essential water is. Or imagine eating on a plate that has not been washed or not washed properly. We would not have minded it if it were in my parents’ time. But the time is different – and we are no longer in that age where eating in a plate that is not washed is regular and normal – and we call this age advanced. If we are not given the facilities that an advanced age demands, then there is no reason why we should fake. 

My husband and I even talked if we should intimate the Thrompon about this problem. We are running desperate and we feel that unless the highest authority concerned is informed of this problem and convinced him of its necessity, we will have to remain unwashed and unhygienic. 

There are numerous problems in Thimphu. I have all this time not wailed out loud because I have been told by my boss time and again that stating a problem is not good. We have to speak only if we have got a solution. But today, I have had enough. If it is me who is responsible for finding the solutions to these problems that is making me go astray, I think I would not be speaking here. The major problems that just cannot go away from my sight are:

1.       Road: I don’t know how many times a road will be constructed and reconstructed in some places in Thimphu but some areas in Changzamtok are neglected forever. There are two points of road access to the apartment I stay. The one from the right was inaccessible for a long time: once, because of the sewerage work and another time because it was destructed by the constructions of houses. Now the other one which we usually use is inaccessible. It is also because of the sewerage work. Months before, I called the City Corporation Site Engineer of this area and he said that the contractor is supposed to put the place back to shape. But forget about putting it back to shape, it is damaged to such an extent that the people residing in this area have to stay as if we are punished for some reason not to have the facilities that we so rightfully must have.

2.   Parking: This is another huge problem in Thimphu. In all the constructions that come up, I don’t see the parking slot. Thimphu City Corporation will widen the road and the part of this widened road will become the parking. What in City Corporation’s part hinders them from waylaying the rule to all the house owners about having to make a parking? When the MP Sangay Khandu talked about parking to be one of the criteria on which the worthiness of the house to be rented should be based, I was so happy. But where did it vanish now? I wish he or any other would talk about it again, enough to bring the change. 

Now going back to what I was talking about, Bhutan is a mountainous country, rich in water resources. Where then does this water problem come from?  Offices have 24 hours water supply. Private houses – where the house owners themselves stay have 24 hours water supply. I know it is possible for the house owners to solve this problem – but sadly they are not willing to or they don’t care to acknowledge this problem that their tenants go through.

Unless they put themselves in our shoes, they will not know what a big problem this is. I wish they will put themselves in our shoes, at least once and solve this problem for once and all.