We need to be more care­ful

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

Five work­ers are feared dead as the slide buries them at the dam pit site in Mandgechu hy­dro power au­thor­ity in Trongsa. The in­ci­dent oc­curred at about 11 am last Fri­day and res­cue ef­forts to evac­u­ate them have failed due to in­ces­sant slide above the damp site area. They were de-wa­ter­ing the dam pit at the time of the in­ci­dent.

The res­cue work be­gan about an hour af­ter he mishap and ef­forts have been made to sta­bi­lize the slide area by us­ing the ex­ca­va­tor. The loose de­bris posed a great threat to the res­cue work­ers. The res­cue op­er­a­tion was called off that day and the op­er­a­tion be­gan in the yesterday morn­ing.

The five work­ers work­ing with the Jai Prakesh As­so­ci­ates en­gaged with the elec­tri­cal works on the wa­ter pump. The com­pany is awarded with the con­struc­tion of di­ver­sion tun­nel, Dam, In­take struc­tures, De­silt­ing cham­ber and slit flush­ing tun­nel.

The eco­nomic af­fairs min­is­ter Norbu Wangchuk trav­elled to Trongsa to in­ves­ti­gate the land­slide per­son­ally. The Min­is­ter is ex­pected over­see­ing the re­cov­ery and re­lief ef­fort.

The pro­ject man­age­ment has re­gret­ted the harm caused to the five work­ers who got trapped in the de­bris. But the works on the con­struc­tion of the dam will not be ham­pered too much. The man­age­ment how­ever said that the slides would not be a ma­jor set­back. It would take about 10-15 days to clear the de­bris, af­ter which the dam con­cret­ing works will re­sume. The slides will not af­fect the pro­ject’s sched­ule as re­ported by the pro­ject man­age­ment.

The greater ques­tion with us now is who is re­spon­si­ble for the mishap. The pro­ject au­thor­ity has said that the pro­ject will not be de­layed and things will be nor­mal af­ter 10-15 days. It is al­ways there that peo­ple will for­get the in­ci­dent and things will be nor­mal.

But as we go on with such mishaps we must learn some more lessons and be ex­tra cau­tious on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the hy­dro power projects. As there is a huge cost im­pli­ca­tion on the con­struc­tions of these projects, we must an­a­lyze care­ful in award­ing the con­tracts to the right party and projects are to be care­fully mon­i­tored. With a huge cost in­volved and hy­dro power projects work­ing on loans it be­come equally im­por­tant to breed our own tech­nocrats to de­sign the de­tailed pro­ject re­port (DPR) for our hy­dro plants.

Proper mon­i­tor­ing of the pro­ject and care­ful study on the risk mit­i­ga­tion for the hy­dro­elec­tric projects must be done to avoid such mishaps in fu­ture. As we all know all life are pre­cious and we can­not ef­fort to lose them.

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