KuenselOnline

Saturday, April 18th, 2015 - 7:09 PM
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Dungsam dream still doable

Despite initial expectations being belied, there’s optimism about the corporation’s future

DDCL: More than three decades ago, a plan was conceived to start a mega cement plant in South East Bhutan.  It would enhance revenue for the government, develop a town in isolated Nganglam, and generate employment.

Despite several bottlenecks, the Dungsam Cement Corporation ltd (DCCL) was formally inaugurated in October last year.  Production began much earlier.  With a capacity to produce 1MMT (million metric tonnes) of clinker and 1.36MMT of cement in a year, a lot of hope was pinned on the plant.

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JSWNP a hotspot for wildcat species

EK000078A tiger caught on camera at the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park (Photo: UWICE )

Despite initial expectations being belied, there’s optimism about the corporation’s future

Wildlife: The Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park (JSWNP) is now a hotspot for wildcat species.

A camera trapping exercise that started in 2010, recorded 12 individual tigers.  It is estimated that between 14-26 live in the park.

A policy brief released by the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment (UWICE) on April 16 aims to highlight the latest research findings and provide recommendations on key environmental issues.

“The policy brief will be a guidance to the policy makers on what are the areas that needs to be emphasised on tiger conservation efforts,” Department of Park Services (DPS) Director General, Chencho Norbu, said.

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Multi-party association launched to prevent ills of democracy

DSC_0422Her Majesty the Queen Mother, cabinet ministers with BDD members and election commission offcials at the launch yesterday

The Bhutan Democracy Dialogue will allow parties to work together and take a common position

Democracy: Political parties agree that disharmony and mistrust fueled by partisan politics should be removed from society. The Bhutan Democracy Dialogue (BDD), which was launched by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck yesterday, will attempt to do just that.

Following two elections, Bhutan has experienced the ills of democracy in varying degrees.

The BDD is a multi-party association and aims to enable political parties to work together and take a common position on issues that will help consolidate Bhutanese democracy. This, the BDD believes, will help parties prevent conflict and regain public confidence.

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Picture story

Her Majesty Queen Mother Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck inaugurates the exhibition titled “Bhutan – Land Close to Heaven” at Naprstek Museum in Prague, the Czech Republic on April 16. The exhibition, organised by the Royal Textile Academy in partnership with the Czech National Museum, will be open till June. Her Majesty is on a four-day visit on an invitation of the government of Czech Republic. Her Majesty met the President of the Czech Republic and is scheduled to meet the foreign affairs minister. Her Majesty is accompanied by works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden and other officials.

    

Teachers should behave as role models: Education minister

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Education minister, Mingbo Dukpa, recently visited the 24 pilot central schools across the country. Establishing central schools is part of the school reforms programme of the Bhutan Education Blueprint. But since it was piloted, it has received a lot of criticism. Kuensel’s Nirmala Pokhrel caught up with the minister after his month long cross-country tour.

Q&A: Q. How was your cross-country tour and central school visits?

The purpose of the my recent tour was mainly to assess the ground situation of the 24 pilot central schools and jointly come up with strategic interventions in close consultations with the school, dzongkhag and local authorities. It was also to monitor the implementation of Bhutan Education Blueprint ‘Implementation Plans 2015’ endorsed by the last annual education conference and to identify appropriate locations for central school expansion in 2016.

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Some monsoon magic

The season of rain has now begun, officially. Freshness is all about. Our gardens, our walkways and our pathways are breathing life and hope. Flowers are in full bloom. There are colours and fragrance myriad in the air.

It’s a time of celebration, of things good and promising. Poets have hymns for this season. Philosophers have pondered at the magic and marvels of this wonderful time of the year. Growth and rejuvenation is by right our fare.

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Online education loan application launched

Education: In what should aid class XII graduates with disadvantaged economic backgrounds looking to fund their tertiary education, an online loan application will become available from next month.

This will allow students to apply for interest-free loans of up to Nu 300,000 per year from their place of residence or from any internet connected device, rather than having to travel all the way to Thimphu.

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Illegal workers nabbed

Police are arresting illegal workers on an almost daily basis

Immigration: Gelephu police arrested 15 people for working in the country without a permit, yesterday.

The police have forwarded them to the immigration department.

Finding and detaining illegal workers in Gelephu has become a daily occurrence.

Those detained told police they had entered as illegal workers because they lacked proper documents.

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To ‘meat’ a huge demand

IMG_4259Bhutan is the highest per capita meat consumer in South Asia (file photo)

A processing unit is to be set up in Serbithang to reduce dependence on imports

DoL: The department of livestock (DoL) will soon establish a meat-processing unit in Serbithang, Thimphu.

Last year, Bhutan imported 10,336MT (metric tonnes) of meat products worth Nu 1.37 billion from India and Thailand. Bhutan is the highest per capita meat consumer in South Asia, with about 13.5kg of meat per capita annually, according to DoL.

Dr Tashi Samdup, director of DoL, said that the department initiated the project because there was a demand for meat products in the country.

“Demand is very high and that’s draining our economy,” said Dr Tashi Samdup. “With the establishment of the meat-processing plant, people will have choices of quality processed at an affordable price.”

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Instilling responsibility in tour guides and drivers

The conduct of guides and drivers can become a matter of concern for the entire industry

Torusim: A hotelier in Gangtey, Phobjikha is considering court case after a driver allegedly misbehaved with the management and female staff of the hotel in front of the guests about a month ago.

The driver, in an intoxicated state, according to the hotel management, created a scene in front of the guests, complaining that the food served to guides and drivers was not good.  The driver allegedly showed porn clips on his mobile, and dragged female staff towards his vehicle.

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