Amochhu River em­bank­ment mit­i­gates flood threats

Business Bhutan - - Ntaion - Kr­ishna Ghal­ley from Phuentshol­ing

Busi­ness houses along the Amochhu River are op­er­at­ing smoothly, un­ham­pered by mon­soon rains un­like last year, when the en­tire left bank was flooded re­sult­ing in losses worth mil­lions.

Last year, around this time, a flash flood washed away en­tire struc­tures in­clud­ing work­shops forc­ing busi­ness en­ti­ties to close shop tem­po­rar­ily.

How­ever, to­day, thanks to em­bank­ment works car­ried out by three pri­vate con­struc­tion com­pa­nies: Rigsar, Chukha and Yangkhil Con­struc­tion Com­pa­nies the river has been trained and is flow­ing to­wards the right bank, sav­ing the en­tire left bank from flood­ing.

The em­bank­ment works started last win­ter. Since then, the river has not reached the area which it flooded last year and pos­si­bil­ity of such oc­cur­rence is low even with mon­soon mid-way.

More than 30 dif­fer­ent busi­ness houses com­pris­ing au­to­mo­bile work­shops, godowns, ware­houses, and small man­u­fac­tur­ing plants form the busi­ness com­mu­nity along Amochhu. The Na­tional Hous­ing De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Lim­ited is con­struct­ing two new build­ings along the bank.

Prop­erty and equip­ment worth mil­lions were lost in last year’s flood.

“This year, we are con­fi­dent about run­ning our busi­ness since the river is flow­ing right. The area is se­cure and the threat is gone,” said Pro­pri­etor of TCS Work­shop, Tashi Wangdi.

The work­shop has al­ready re­cov­ered losses worth Nu 600,000 suf­fered due to the ear­lier dis­as­ter. The govern­ment com­pen­sated Tashi Wangdi and with the amount he has in­stalled bodies for his dumper trucks so that his com­pany can also take part in river mit­i­ga­tion works if needed.

Rigsar Con­struc­tion Com­pany’s works had been stalled two weeks in 2016. But ac­cord­ing to the man­ager, Tshe­wang Dhendup, as of now risks posed by the river are min­i­mal due to the em­bank­ment con­struc­tion.

How­ever, the pro­pri­etor of a bricks man­u­fac­tur­ing plant, Ten­zin Dorji, said the threat still lingers es­pe­cially dur­ing peak mon­soon. “The mon­soon has not ended. We can­not guar­an­tee safety,” he said, “We must re­main vig­i­lant.”

Karma Feeds, a feed man­u­fac­tur­ing plant has re­sumed busi­ness in full swing. The com­pany had re­mained closed for three days af­ter it was flooded.

Mean­while, the com­pa­nies are work­ing tire­lessly on the em­bank­ment to en­sure the safety of set­tle­ments along the bank. “We are safe right now but are equally fac­ing chal­lenges as the river cur­rents are be­com­ing stronger,” said the pro­pri­etor of Chukha Con­struc­tion, Ugay Tsh­er­ing, “We are spend­ing sleep­less nights.”

Bad road con­di­tion re­mains an­other chal­lenge for the busi­ness en­ti­ties along Amochhu. Pot­holes filled with rain­wa­ter dis­cour­age cus­tomers from vis­it­ing the lo­ca­tion for ser­vices.

“We would be happy if the road con­di­tion is looked into im­me­di­ately,” said JB En­gi­neer­ing’s pro­pri­etor.

With Amochhu Land De­vel­op­ment and Town­ship Project and the Phuentshol­ing-Chamkuna ac­cess road along Phuentshol­ing-Samtse High­way in the pipe­line, de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in these ar­eas are cur­rently on halt.

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