Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - 9:58 PM

Going hyper on hydro?

In what came as a major setback to the country’s ambitious plan of harnessing 10,000MW of hydropower by 2020, the economic ministry yesterday announced it wouldn’t be able to achieve the target.

To achieve it, all planned projects, including the four joint venture projects, should have started last year.  2020 is only six years from now and we have achieved only 1,488MW.  This could double, even triple, when the ongoing Punatsangchhu I and II and Mangdechhu [... Read More]

Changing habits

For the laxness on the part of relevant authorities it is often the people who have to bear the brunt.

At least this is what the recent issue with respect to long-term lease of government land for private or institutional use shows.

It also indicates the lack of clarity in terms of where one agency’s authority began and where the other’s ended.

Many a policy the government draws up and like many of the laws it crafts through [... Read More]

Keeping MPs in the loop

The second session of Parliament will begin next week.  It will be an important session, given that the first session, for many new parliamentarians, was mostly spent on picking up the ropes of legislative business and housekeeping.

Expectations are high that our members of Parliament would have now gained experience and discussions will be intense in the interest of the nation and the people who elected them.  Nine important bills are to be tabled in the [... Read More]

Roadblock ahead

The first snowfall at Dochula some time in December last year left many vehicles stranded on either side at Lamperi and Hongtsho.

People coming to Thimphu from east had to be transshipped, walking more than 10km from Lamperi, cautiously over frozen road in freezing temperatures.

It was almost a similar scene this weekend. It was fortunate there were no car crashes and casualties.

It is quite an excursion, an experience of, some times, the most thrilling kind, driving [... Read More]

Double standards?

Government and corporate bodies investing in constructing multi-storied office buildings had raised some eyebrows, especially of those in the construction business.  They have valid reasons.

Call it inconsistency in rules or flaws in implementing policy, about 14 buildings belonging to government or corporate bodies are either approved for construction or pending approval.  They will, as per engineer’s estimates, cost around Nu 3B.

But it is not so much about the cost, which the cash-strapped government or the [... Read More]

Feel for public properties, facilities

We care not, if we know not the value of a property or a facility, until we are charged certain fees for it.

This is true with most public facilities, be it a park, a playground or a public toilet and properties like government quarters, pool vehicles and office belongings.

When it comes to caring for public properties, the public is anybody but the individual himself or herself.

Until water metres were fixed, to turn a tap off [... Read More]

Indispensable yet underrated

Last week, a team of 25 people, while undergoing a hands-on maintenance and operation training, revived the defunct waste treatment plant at Gedu.  Long an eyesore of the town, the Gaeddu College and the town will now benefit from the plant.

But more than bringing the plant back to use, it is worth noting the initiative of training people to maintain and operate facilities in their locality.  The treatment plant was reportedly built at a huge [... Read More]

Towards better tourism

A foreigner who visited the country a decade or so ago asked a Bhutanese what else besides festivals the country had to offer if he was to visit another time.

Obviously, not much has changed in terms of tourism package the more than 1,300 tour operators the country has today offer.

Almost all of them have basically been marketing the same products and for decades on end.

Perhaps because of this established market, not many wish to venture [... Read More]

Besides sky and water

Recently a villager was seen holding a stillborn baby cradled in a carton box.

Besides the pain of losing a baby he so looked forward to jubilantly welcoming and sharing that emotion with his wife recuperating from post delivery pain, he had to worry about what to do with the lifeless one.

Cremating a baby as we do with rest of the dead in our culture is not what the Bhutanese customs and beliefs prescribe for children [... Read More]

The passing of a spiritual master

On an auspicious day (namgang) on January 1, Bhutan lost a great Buddhist master, when former Drabi Lopon Kinley Gyeltshen passed away peacefully at his residence in Semtokha.

The passing away of a great master is a loss not only for his former students, who travelled from various part of the country to be close to their teacher, but also for the country.  Lopon Kinley Gyeltshen is the epitome of a homegrown Buddhist master, who dedicated [... Read More]

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