With thromde elections about a month away, Thimphu thrompon Kinlay Dorjee announces his decision to re-contest while highlighting some of his achievements as a mayor of the capital city
Q&A: 1. Would you re-contest in the upcoming thromde elections? Why?
I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their overwhelming support in enabling me to complete my tenure successfully. The trust and cooperation of residents was instrumental in pursuing our shared vision of a modern and green Thimphu that is economically dynamic and simultaneously culturally vibrant. The encouraging support of residents was also critical for the swift implementation of the projects, programs and plans. Today, the residents believe that Thimphu is undergoing many positive changes necessary to make the place more livable with reliable infrastructure and a balanced ecosystem with adequate open spaces that will contribute to enhancing community vitality as well. Having started many of the initiatives towards realizing these goals and given the experience gained, I have realized how much more can be done again. His Majesty The King has time and again reminded us that complacency is one of the most significant challenges we face and this has given me the inspiration to mobilize my energy to re-contest in the upcoming election.
2. What are some of the significant achievements in the thromde after you assumed office?
Of the many initiatives I have pursued over the last four and half years, some of the significant achievements worth mentioning are:
With judicious use of finances, the various offices under thromde were successfully consolidated under one roof, facilitating faster and coordinated services to the people. This also saw the introduction of customer care concepts and evolution of a one-stop shop for various thromde services. Today, the thromde has implemented the much-awaited computerized database for land and properties for easy assessment of taxes and revenue, and online service delivery of some of the thromde services including application of school admissions.
Improved some of the regulatory functions of the thromde such as effective enforcement of rules and regulations related to construction activities, control of number of floors in a building construction to prevent the sight of ugly attics.
Outsourcing of waste collection including segregation and recycling. Almost 70 percent of the city has successfully implemented household waste segregation into organic and dry waste, reducing the quantity of waste transported to Memelakha landfill. A transfer station to further segregate the dry waste is being constructed at Ngabirongchu Bridge by Greener way.
The first ever Public Private Partnership project for construction of two multi-level car parkings with a total capacity of 550 cars is under construction within the core area, with technical support of International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The work on the construction of the central water scheme from Dodena-Chari water tributary is at an advanced stage of finalization for tendering. Within two years, Thimphu will see its vision of an uninterrupted 24×7 water supply in every home.
3. During the thrompon election, you pledged that your office would either move the sewerage ponds or use technology to address the foul smell. Your five-year term is almost over and the sewerage issue still remains. What happened?
The government has already secured the funds from the Asian Development Bank to construct a modular 10 MLD mechanized treatment plant. The bidding process to select the right development partner is underway and by early 2016, construction works on the ground will begin to be completed within two years. This new technology will require only about two acres of land and the remaining space occupied by the current open lagoons will be converted to a recreational park with boating facilities.
4. What is the most challenging part of being a thrompon?
Influencing a positive change in the mindset of the people, such as improving civic sense and respect for public property and simple steps like responsible handling of garbage.
5. What is the biggest problem that needs attention in Thimphu Thromde today?
Congestion due to the increasing number of vehicles on the road is the biggest problem that requires immediate attention. However, we are fortunate to have already secured funding support from World Bank to improve public transport, which includes development of about 80 bus stops, creation of bus bays and shelters. Also, footpaths and jogging trails are being developed in various parts of the city to encourage walking.