Water pipes

Pipes for peace

Thank you for taking part in “Big picture – 10”.

Your responses were varied, and many of them were deliberately funny. Answers ranged from electrical, telephone and TV cables; to branches, roots and stems; to serpents, TMT bars and organizational charts!

But most of you knew the answer – yes, the picture showed water pipes, and yes such pipes, carrying water to individual houses, can be seen all over Thimphu.

“namgay”, “Tshewang” and “dodo” guessed that the picture of the water pipes was taken in Hejo, Langjuphakha and Taba respectively. The picture was actually taken above the “RICB Colony”.

The pipes – I counted about 150 of them – are installed and maintained privately, and carry water from a small stream to the houses below. I was told that some of them deliver water houses in distant Changzmatog!

The pipes are there because Thimphu City Corporation’s water supply is woefully inadequate and unreliable.

Thimphu has sufficient water. The Wangchhu and its many streams provide more than enough water for the entire valley. But that water must be tapped and distributed efficiently. And that is something we have not been able to do.

So Thimphu’s new mayor – whoever should win the elections tomorrow – has his work cut out for him. The mayor will be expected to improve and expand the capital’s water supply system: to ensure that inhabitants get more than a few hours of running water each day; to remove the need for the water tanks that sit on top of every building; and to make the ubiquitous private pipes redundant.

By the way, the winner of “Big picture – 10” is “namgay” who answered: “Thats a Bundle of Polythene pipes la…conveying water i guess.. common see in places like hejo…”

The picture wasn’t taken in Hejo, but like “namgay” says, the pipes are a common sight in Thimphu.

“namgay”: please contact me by email to claim your prize.

More pipes


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  1. The chief engineer of the city needs to be changed. He has been there for ages and is known for playing safe


  1. […] we discussed in my last post, the Thimphu city council – the new mayor in particular – will have to sort out the capital […]

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