Public works

Thinley Lam

Thimphu’s main roads are fairly good. They are not necessarily beautiful, but, in spite of limited resources, they are, by and large, smooth, wide and well-managed.

The smaller roads, however, tell a different story. Many of them are narrow, riddled with pot holes, and have not seen any form of maintenance for years. Naturally, many local residents are frustrated. One such resident is Aum Thinley Lham. She lives in Taba and, for the longest time, has complained bitterly about the state of her road. But instead of continuing to grumble, she has decided to take matters into her own hands; she has decided to repair the road herself.

Last Sunday, I chanced upon Aum Thinley Lham repairing the road leading to upper Taba and to her property, Wangchuk Resort. She’d purchased several truckloads of concrete mix, and was using her own staff and her own vehicles to repair the road. Obviously, she couldn’t repair the entire road. But she felt lucky just to be able to patch up the biggest pot holes.

Most of us, who live in urban areas, take public property for granted. We want the best. But unlike our farmers, we do not contribute to building them. We don’t even contribute to their maintenance. This is not sustainable. If we want to enjoy good roads, good schools and good parks, we better learn, like Aum Thinley Lham, to contribute. Or we better be willing to pay our city corporation higher taxes.

Here’s a question: which, in your opinion, is the most beautiful road in Thimphu?