Monsoon heralds a new season. A season to sow seeds and plant new hopes. It is also a season to welcome the monsoons rains that eventually water our fields and gardens and assure us of a good harvest ahead of us. But the monsoon rains also creates havoc, given the uncertainty of our weather patterns due to global warming and the unforgiving topography. Our drains and sewage pipes burst and overflow into our roads. There are numerous flash floods and landslides that often block our roads and cause damages to lives and property.
Roadblock due to landslides and motor accidents due to rain filled potholes is a common sight during summers. We construct and reconstruct and dig and re do it again. And the cycle goes on.
While we are confronted with the same problems of sewerage and drinking water pipes getting overfilled and bursting out at the seams, every passing summer, there are incidences of drinking water shortages in homes across the capital. The water overflow into the roads creating potholes and traffic snarls. And this happens every summer.
Isn’t there a permanent solution to this ever recurring quandary? Will we continue with the process of building and rebuilding it again and again?
It is time our planners and decision makers think beyond the box and to bring an end to this perpetual problem that has been nagging us every passing summer. While occurrence of flash floods and landslides can’t be predicted, given the steep topography of our landscapes, we can atleast work out on a permanent solution to make our roads and drains in the cities adaptive to the fury of monsoon onslaughts.
One permanent solution could be expanding our water pipes and storm water drains. The capital city’s storm water drains are small and outdated and cannot hold the excess runoff created by the onslaught of the monsoons. Therefore, the thromde’s priority should be on building up a permanent state-of-the-art facility so that this problem is solved once and for all.
The quality of roads, especially the thickness of the bitumen, should be strictly monitored across the nation, and especially in the core urban areas, as the roads get spoiled and riddled with pot holes even after a few months or weeks after completion. Contractors must be penalized if the qualities of road infrastructures are not constructed as per the required norm, as it will have bigger implications later.
The concerned agencies should also monitor the growing number of construction sites as it is the construction material debris that leads to blocking of our water pipes and drains and hence lead to overflows and growing number of potholes on our roads.
With proper planning and care monsoons in Bhutan can also be a time to rejoice than always groan at the increasing inconveniences brought by it.