Nepal Earthquake updates:
4:27pm – Upon the Royal Command of His Majesty The King, Bhutan will be sending a 37-member medical team assisted by 15 Desuups to Kathmandu to offer medical assistance for the earthquake relief operations.
The medical team coordinated by the Kidu Mobile Medical Unit (KMMU), will comprise of surgeons, medical specialists, nurses and technicians from the Ministry of Health, and Royal Bhutan Army.
The Bhutanese team of 52 will travel to Kathmandu on 27 April 2015, by a special Druk Air flight and bring back Bhutanese stranded in Kathmandu.
4:25pm – Bhutan’s U-14 girls national football team that was in Nepal for a regional competition is back in the country.
Sunday 4:20pm – Kathmandu international airport closed following powerful aftershock. Drukair flight recalled in mid-air to Paro.
Sunday 4:20pm – Bhutanese stranded in Nepal may contact the following Bhutanese officials for information/assistance: Mr. Singye Dorji: +977 9843211248, +977 9843296252 or Mr. Yeshay Wangchuk: +977 9851039671
Sunday 10:30am – Tashi Air also informs that Kathmandu airport open for operations. No word yet on whether government will be evacuating any Bhutanese from Nepal or if any aid is being arranged.
9:50pm – Drukair informs that Kathmandu airport is open for operations tomorrow which means flights will operate.
7:39pm – While media reports of Kathmandu international airport being shut following the earthquake have been published, the national airline Drukair is yet to receive an official airport closure notification. The airline is expected to receive an update shortly.
Corruption: For the past four days, Phuentsholing, the country’s biggest commercial hub, has been under continued Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) scanner.
ACC is investigating for corrupt practices that have evolved over the years to become a part of the regulating and enforcing agencies’ systems.
As of yesterday, the commission sealed eight shops and 10 stores in Phuentsholing.
Sources said the commission had also reportedly detained four customs officials, and about seven non-Bhutanese, who were suspected to have helped clearing agents in the town. However, two customs officials were released last evening, and a non-Bhutanese on April 23.
With increased trade volume, transaction procedures deviated leading to a formation of an integrated network of corrupt practices that manifested into tax evasion, fronting, fraudulent declaration, repatriation of INR, and customs mal-administration.
Trade: Alcohol imports last year soared by almost Nu 100M (million) after the government lifted the ban on import of alcohol soon after it came to office, Bhutan trade statistics show. In 2014, a total of Nu 301M was spent on importing 3.3M liters of alcohol.
In January last year, the cabinet, after examining the recommendation of the multi-sectoral task force, lifted the ban that the former government had imposed for almost two years.
Bhutan Civil Aviation Authority and Department of Air Transport are the split halves
Aviation: In a significant development for the aviation industry in Bhutan, the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) was split into two new agencies, yesterday.
The department, established in 1986, was divided into the Bhutan Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) and the Department of Air Transport (DoAT).
BCAA will serve as a regulator and oversee the two airlines and DoAT. The country’s four airports will be operated and managed by DoAT. The separation means that a proper check and balance system will now be available in the aviation sector.
If, and if, we care about what would hurt our researchers for all the work they do, we would not be breathing lethal fumes or drinking noxious drinks.
It’s a bold assertion, some might say. It is, indeed. What we breathe, eat and drink defines us an individual, as a society.
Despite laws being in place, due compensation is seldom paid without labour ministry prodding
Labour: Thimphu thromde will have to compensate the municipal worker, who died on duty on April 1, in line with the labour laws, say labour ministry officials.
Municipal worker Amrit Bdr Rai, 73, was killed near Deki School, Changzamtog, when a wall collapsed and buried him under. He was cleaning the drain when the mishap occurred.
Ap Chundu’s mythical steed takes the limelight once a year in an appeasement ceremony
Occasion: Norbu, the off-white horse, grazes in the compound of Haa dzong. Norbu gets VIP treatment because he is the mythical steed of Ap Chundu, the local deity of Haa valley.
Norbu remains tied within the wall of the dzong. There the white horse grazes to his heart’s delight. When Norbu is done with one area, he gets shifted to another.
Norbu gets an outing only once a year. That is during the one-day ceremony to appease Ap Chundu, during the ninth month of the Bhutanese calendar every year.
An analysis of a social malaise that is only set to become bigger
Employment: The level of education alone is not sufficient to secure gainful employment, according to the labour ministry’s “unemployed youth perspective survey, 2014.”
The type of education and skills a jobseeker possesses is equally vital, it states, adding that the existing mismatch between jobseekers and available jobs is not because of the level of education. Work experience, duration of formal training, interpersonal and communication skills, and the ability to work in a team also attributed for the mismatch.
Penalty imposed on Friday, designated as zero tolerance day against traffic violations
Traffic: More than 100 taxi drivers were issued transport infringement notices (TIN) yesterday for violation of traffic rules during an inspection by traffic police on the Thimphu-Babesa expressway.
This has left many taxi drivers unhappy. They said such an ad hoc enforcement of regulation was not justified. Taxi drivers gathered at Changlimithang stadium parking to discuss the issue.
Taxi drivers said inspection along the highway started since last Friday, after the traffic police division started observing the zero tolerance day against violation of traffic rules. Every Friday is observed as zero tolerance day against traffic rule violations.