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Editorial

Deterring child abuse

Besides being known as a retirement town and a commercial hub, Gelephu is lately refereed to as a place where elephants and sexual perpetrators run amok. The drungkhag reported the highest number of child sexual abuse cases last year. Of the 35 cases reported to RENEW between January and November …

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BCCI Towards private sector development?

It may sound like rubbing salt in the wound, but the Royal Audit Authority’s scathing report on the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industries is too blatant to be ignored. Having entrusted to lead the private sector, the RAA pointing out that the chamber has achieved nothing significant for private …

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Looking beyond policy actions

Burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) on health facilities is growing in Bhutan. According to health officials, deaths from NCDs increased to 69 percent in 2018 from 53 percent in 2011. Even as the national NCD action plan identified strategic action areas and implementation mechanisms, there has been lack of sustainable policy approach to integrate …

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Protecting weavers and designers

One good thing about Bhutan’s rich textile heritage is it is always evolving. Even better, it keeps coming back into fashion. The honglo and the tari kiras, which once only the elderly wore to beat the cold is back in fashion. They will stay. So will the bumtha mathra and …

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The irregularity of the hydropower sector

The findings of the Public Accounts Committee on unresolved irregularities are disturbing. There are still Nu 4.3 billion (B) worth of pending audit issues to be resolved. What is even more disturbing is that a bulk of it is with the hydropower projects- the mega projects being built for the …

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Looking at better urban transport system

Aiming for a sustainable low-emission urban transport system is good. Transition is expected to begin with promotion of electric vehicles (EVs) among the taxi owners in Thimphu because taxis run all day long and contribute to emission the most. But there is today a need to look beyond emission and …

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The cut off point conundrum

The education ministry’s decision to enrol all Class X pass students to Class XI from this academic session has been received well. But the announcement has still not provided clarity on the status of the cut off point, which the government promised to do away with. While the details on …

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Prioritising preparedness

Learning from the lessons and heeding to warnings, Bhutan is far better prepared than when we were, say a decade ago, to face disasters, natural or manmade. We have legislations, frameworks and contingency plans in place. We have trained and sensitised people of the impending dangers. We conducted simulations, demonstrations, …

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The case of community information centres

The discussion on bringing community information centres (CIC) under the gewog administration saw the National Assembly voting along party lines. The Opposition had moved a motion to change the management of these centres from the Bhutan Development Bank Ltd. (BDBL) to the gewog administration. It argued that doing so would …

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For want of clarity

“So, Class X cut-off point stays or is it lifted?” This trending question posted on social media is on every Bhutanese mind since the education minister’s announcement in the Assembly on Tuesday. The government decided to do away with the cut-off point creating confusions, doubts and suspense. Adding more confusion, …

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Illegal driving licence and road mishaps

Where a fire is not, there you won’t find smoke. We are talking about alleged illegal issuance of driving licences. Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has begun investigating the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) and the traffic division of the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP). Although it will be difficult to prove …

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‘Multi parking’- A temporary solution

A three-storey multi-parking building that can accommodate 202 vehicles was opened in Phuentsholing to ease the parking space problem. Two similar structures are being built in the capital city. When they open, there will be 574 parking spaces created. Parking space is a big problem both in Phuentsholing and Thimphu. …

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Bracing urban development

With National Statistics Bureau’s launching of population projection for Bhutan, there is a clear message for the urban planners. According to Population Projections Bhutan 2017-2047, by 2037 half the population of Bhutan will be living in urban areas. In the 30-year projection period, urban population of 275,000 is likely to …

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