Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 - 6:08 AM
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Cabinet violated rules, economic affairs minister misled nation: Opposition

Breaking: The Opposition Party has asked the government to reinstate the three secretaries – that the government “surrendered” and the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) recently announced they would reassign – to their original posts, in a statement issued today.
The Opposition also called for the Lhengye Zhungtshog to be held accountable for violation of the due process and the provisions of the Constitution, the Civil Service Act, and the Bhutan Civil Service Rules.


When will Sarpang rise from the ashes?

Victim-shopkeepers wonder how long it will take before they can get back on their feet

Update: While dzongkhag officials are still compiling reports on property damage from the February 15 fire that gutted 81 shops in Sarpang town, residents are impatient to start their business at the new town location.

However, the town plan at Ranibagan is yet to take shape.  Basic facilities, such as water, electricity and an internal road network, have not reached the new town location.

With school going children and dependents to take care of, shopkeepers, who lost all their business in the fire, are worried how long they will have to wait before they can reopen their shops.


Seven years of connecting Pemagatshel

unnamed-1The cut and cover tunnel built at a cost of USD 129,000

The district is now so networked with roads that walking has become a thing of the past

Connectivity: People in Pemagatshel still remember when travelling to another gewog meant arduous uphill climbs – heavy rations strapped onto their backs – of almost an entire day.

Today, the story is very different. A network of motor roads crisscross the dzongkhag, connecting all 11 of its gewogs, and almost all of its 56 chiwogs. For those chiwogs not yet connected, work has already begun to connect them.

The dzongkhag also boasts a “cut and cover” tunnel built with materials imported from Canada, at a cost of almost USD 129,000. The tunnel in Khar gewog was constructed to preserve the sanctity of a monastery, which otherwise would have seen retaining walls built close by.


Expedite environment clearance process: PM

NEC: The environment clearance process has to be shortened to allow quicker implementation of development activities and setting up of industries, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said.

After the mid-term review presentation of its performance agreement by the National Environment Commission (NEC) yesterday, Lyonchoen, who is also the chairperson of the commission, said one of the common complaints in starting a development activity or establishing industries in the country at present was the lengthy process involved in obtaining the environment clearance from the commission.


BDBL takes over community centres

Banking: The Bhutan Development Bank Ltd (BDBL) took over operation and management of community centres (CCs) from Bhutan Post on March 1.

While an official ceremony to mark the transfer did not take place, a committee comprising all agencies involved finalised the transfer last week.

The transfer will not disrupt the range of services being offered at the centres. All services currently available will continue to be offered.


Picture story

Late snow: Schools remained closed in Haa yesterday after the dzongkhag was covered under a blanket of snow. Pictured above is Katsho village.


A test case for the civil service

With the recent development in the case of the three secretaries to the government, there are more questions being asked.

The Royal Civil Service Commission decided to reassign them, a decision that many felt was very neutral, as the news of the decision spread.  However, it is not announced or even decided if the commission had finalised where to reassign three senior secretaries, who had held important portfolios at the highest positions in the civil service.


Irrigation master plan by this year

An integrated water resources management plan also in the works

IWRM: In the past decade, investments in irrigation dwindled affecting crop yield, especially of paddy, and led to fields turning fallow.

The absence of a long-term plan was the problem, agriculture officials said.

Agriculture chief engineer, Karma Tshethar, said: “We need a long term plan because irrigation is capital intensive and the five-year plan is not enough for proper direction and to optimise investment.”


Tsebar women switch from weaving to metal design

11015176_10204483175451746_1884137001_nA most profitable business

The reason being that the latter craft is far more profitable than the former

Handicraft: It is 8am, a mild morning in Duwang in Pemagatshel.  Karma Zangmo, 30, helps her two children get dressed for school. She has their lunch packs ready.  As the little ones hurry out the door, there is a contented smile on Karma’s face.

Home chores all done, Karma Zangmo waits for her friends.  She has by her side a small mat, a set of metal tools, and a wooden table. She takes out a small hammer and begins carving designs on a piece of metal sheet, holding the carving tool with the ease of an expert.  It is a fine work of tay (traditional design) for religious instruments like duung and jaling.


Picture story

With sacred mask dances performed in a nunnery, Tashiphu village in Sershong, Gelephu, witnessed its first tshechu last week. The tshechu, which ended on March 1 was dedicated to prevent birth obstacles (Lo Kag) of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and His Holiness the Je Khenpo. Lam Yeshi Dorji of Shedrup Choling nunnery in Tashiphu, Gelephu initiated the tshechu and was organised together with Sumthrang monastery in Ura.