Budget constraint hampers water supply construction in Pema Gatshel

People of Chhimoong village in Pema Gatshel were anticipating having a continuous water supply with the new water reservoir tank and pump. But without a water supply pipeline and water taps to distribute the water to the households, people’s excitement remains buried. The Gewog administration could not continue the construction due to budget constraints.

The reservoir tank along with a water pump was constructed early last year. It was constructed at a cost of Nu 2.5 M with support from the UNDP. With the construction of water pipelines and taps at a halt for about four months, people said the existing water supply is not sufficient which has been a longstanding issue.

“It was sufficient when we had fewer people in the village. But the water has become scarce now. We try storing water in containers for our everyday use,” said Bumchu Wangdi, a resident of Chhimoong village.

“We cannot just sit idle because we don’t have enough water. We make sure that we store water in drums and containers to feed our cattle and for our everyday use,” said Norbu Chojay, another resident.

According to the Gewog administration, the budget was not enough to complete the construction. Moreover, the cost of materials escalated amid the pandemic.

However, the construction work is expected to resume soon as the gewog received an additional budget from the Dzongkhag administration.

“We have received Nu 1 M. And we tendered the works to the local contractors. From the additional budget, we have to estimate the procurement of the remaining works like laying pipes and requesting engineers,” said Yeshi Wangdi, Chhimoong Gup.

The farmers are expecting to enhance vegetable cultivation when the construction work is complete.

“Once the pump construction is complete, we will have two sources. And with this, we are hoping it will solve our problem soon,” added Bumchu Wangdi.

“People of Chhimoong village and the civil servants in the gewog received a Mega greenhouse with support from the government. Once the project is complete, it will benefit those working in the mega greenhouse and hoping to make income in future,” added Chhimoong Gup.

The gewog is expecting to complete the work by mid this year. Once complete, it will benefit 70 households in the village.

Thinley Dorji, Pema Gatshel

Edited by Sonam Pem

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