Wangdue Phodrang district administration yet to obtain clearances for new proposed landfill site

In the recent Wangdue Phodrang Dzongkhag Tshogdu, an intensive discussion centred around the relocation of the district’s landfill. Local leaders voiced their concerns about the current landfill’s existing state, which has reached its maximum capacity, posing a risk to the nearby residents. While a potential new landfill site at Phangyuel Gewog was proposed in the previous Dzongkhag Tshogdu session, the district’s environment officials couldn’t secure some of the clearances.

The present landfill site is located along the Nahi Gewog Centre road. The landfill was constructed more than two decades ago and was intended to be used for ten years.

Every day, at least fifteen truckloads of waste are disposed of at the site. Some of the residents said the landfill has reached its maximum capacity and it is posing risks to the commuters travelling along the Nahi Gewog road.

“It is posing a risk. Although there is fencing below the landfill area, the fence could collapse due to piled waste. This will pose a risk to the commuters along the road, as the road is located just below the landfill,” said Phuntsho, PHPA-II driver.

“The landfill has reached its maximum capacity. It is risky to push the waste as the fence and walls might collapse.  But if we do not clear some space, the road leading towards the landfill gets blocked within a few days,” said Ram Bahadur Ghalley, excavator operator of Bajo Municipal.

During the recent Dzongkhag Tshogdu, Thedtsho Gup Chador highlighted the need for relocation of the existing landfill.

“So far, the Nahi and Thedtsho Gewog administrations did not raise any concerns about the existing landfill in the Dzongkhag Tshogdu. However, we are raising the concern today as the landfill site has reached its capacity. Moreover, the residents are complaining about the issue.”

During the previous session of the Dzongkhag Tshogdu, the house decided to study the feasibility of relocating the landfill at Phangyuelgang in Phangyuel Gewog. However, the district environment sector could not get the forest and public clearances.

“We could not get the public clearance. People said the construction of a landfill might affect them in future,” said Sonam Wangchuk, Officiating District Environment Officer.

After extensive deliberation, the house decided to carry out another consultation with the people.

“The first preference will be that area. We will consult with the people. And if it is not at all feasible, we will request the district administration to look for another site,” said Kinzang Thinley, Dzongkhag Tshogdu Chairperson.

The lifespan of the new landfill proposed at Phangyuelgang is 20 years. If the plan comes through, it will be constructed on 12 acres of land costing more than Nu 54 M.

Changa Dorji, Wangdue Phodrang

Edited by Tshering Zam

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