Residents of Tashichhoeling Dungkhag in Samtse are grappling with the lack of a proper garbage truck, resulting in the piling up of garbage on streets and outside their homes. The Dungkhag’s only waste collection truck frequently breaks down, posing a significant problem for the community. Residents are concerned about the environmental hazards caused by uncollected waste.
Both Gola and Peljorling towns of Tashichhoeling Dungkhag are facing similar problems with waste piling up outside their shops and homes for weeks.
“Since the waste collection truck that we have here is very old, we are facing a lot of difficulties in availing its service. It would be better if we can get a new truck, which would come to collect waste twice a week. The current garbage truck frequently gets damaged and hardly a vehicle comes to collect our waste,” said Shiva Prasad Sharma, a resident of Gola town.
The garbage issue has also affected local businesses, with shopkeepers complaining that the smell and unpleasant sight of garbage piles are deterring customers from visiting their shops.
“We are having a tough time managing our waste. These days most of our customers complain about the waste that is outside our shops. They only prefer a clean place where there is no waste,” said Padma Gurung, a resident of Peljorling.
The inconsistent waste-collection timing has left many residents with no other option than to dispose of their waste elsewhere, while others have resorted to burning them.
Some of the residents have even started taking their waste to the landfill. However, most of them do not dispose of their garbage properly. The entrance of the landfill is now completely blocked with waste.
“Despite the landfill area being over two acres and 40 decimals in size, I don’t know why people like to dump their waste just in front of the gate, blocking the way into the landfill,” said Kuenzang Peljure, Tashichhoeling Gup.
To monitor the waste problem, the gewog administration plans to install CCTV cameras in the landfill and a few other places.
The gewog has also hired a private bolero pickup truck to manually collect garbage as the old waste-collection truck is under maintenance.
However, the issue remains unresolved. The matter was also discussed during the recently held Dzongkhag Tshogdu.
It was revealed at the session that the Finance Ministry had not approved the procurement of a new vehicle, as it had only been eight years since the Tashichhoeling Dungkhag received the garbage truck.
The Finance Ministry has a policy, which says that a garbage truck must operate for at least 15 years before it can be replaced by a new one.
As a result, the Nu 3 M budget kept for the procurement of a new garbage truck was diverted and used for upgrading Sherubgatshel Lower Secondary School in Norgaygang Gewog this year.
The current garbage truck was previously used for collecting waste in Samtse Town. Now it has to cater to five gewogs of Tashichhoeling Dungkhagand Sang-Ngag-Chhoeling and Yoeseltse Gewog as well.
Passang Dorji, Samtse
Edited by Kipchu
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