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Saturday, May 30th, 2015 - 8:27 PM
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Norbu’s red-letter day outing

IMG_9771Ap Chundu’s steed: Norbu the off-white stallion

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 [... Read More]

Taxi drivers stung by TINs on expressway

IMG_5809Taxi drivers caught unawares

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 [... Read More]

Work on JICA-funded Dechu bridge begins

20150416_093839An excavator clears the site on the left side of Debchu for the bridge.

Connectivity: Starting next year, the people of Athang gewog will not have to worry about being cut off during monsoon, thanks to a bridge being built over the Dechu (river) at Dogayphu, 36km from Bajo town. The bridge, according to Athang gup, Khandu Dorji, will benefit some 800 people from 90 households living beyond the gewog centre opposite Kamichu on the Tsirang-Wangdue highway The Grass Root Project with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is funding the project.

Disputed structure falls into disrepair

IMG_8248The Zangtopelri

Land: There is a Zangtopelri in Samdrupjongkhar that needs some real attention, but there is a dispute as well over the property between the thromde and a private individual. This Zangtopelri stands on the right side of the road towards the district hospital in Samdrupjongkhar.  It has suffered from disrepair.  Walls are coming off, statues inside are broken, and the prayer wheels are coming off the hinges. People have raised the issue and asked authorities concerned to repair the place and save the nangtens (sacred [... Read More]

The ‘Black Horse’ of Bhutanese football

IMG_1056Goutam Mukherjee

The once striker of the national team reminisces about his heydays Profile: Friday, 4:30pm: Two Indian men walk out of an office in Changangkha in Thimphu.  Inside the room, Goutam Mukherjee, CEO of KCR private limited, is silhouetted blackness.  He looks tired.  His personal secretary is seated next to him with a notepad taking notes. From Kolkata, India, Goutam Mukherjee, 52, is one of the many non-national individuals, who played for the national football team from 1979 to 1982. Goutam came to Bhutan in 1979 [... Read More]

Salami schools merge for safekeeping

mmexport1429753870513Closed: The old classrooms of lower Salami primary school

Education: With the school’s structures prone to disaster, the lower Salami primary school (PS) in Tsirang was merged with the upper Salami PS last week. The lower Salami PS, which has 23 students from pre primary to class II, is now part of Salami PS, which opened in March 2012 with classes III- IV.  The lower Salami PS had eight classrooms and three teachers. Salami PS’s principal Rigzin Thinley said the lower school’s structures were built in the 50s and prone to disasters. “We merged [... Read More]

Living under the shadow of floods and landslides

DSC01582Villagers of Lem chiwog dig a drain to divert water flowing from Chebling

Villagers in Phongmey blame tree felling and overgrazing by ‘outsiders’ for their perennial plight Disaster: For years, people on the foothills of Karmagonpa and Gazarey in Phongmey gewog have been bearing the wrath of repeated landslides and floods. They claim it is because of felling of trees by Radhipas and overgrazing of cattle by the highlanders of Chebling in Merak. More than 100 households of Karmagonpa and Gazarey lie between two rivers, the Dungjuri and the Yudiri.  During the summer, rainwater easily runs from the [... Read More]

Thimphu Thromde schools bursting at the seams

DSC_7968Crammed: Each class in Lungtenphu LSS has at least 40 students and the school is in dire need of a major renovation

Old infrastructure and shortage of classrooms have pushed schools to use laboratories as classrooms  Education: Almost all classrooms of Thimphu thromde public schools are overcrowded with some schools using laboratories as classrooms. Thromde and school officials said this is a result of intense admission pressure they faced this year. In 2015 alone, Thimphu thromde received over 1,000 additional students in its 19 schools, which is double of what the schools took in the previous years. The revision of private school fees is also attributed to [... Read More]

Haa district hospital’s location finalised

bempuThe DT finalised the location last year

A disagreement between the two gewogs had held the project since 2013 Health: The site for Haa dzongkhag hospital construction, which was long overdue following a disagreement between the two gewogs of Esu and Katsho is now finalised with the dzongkhag awarding the access road and culvert construction work on February 25. The 20-bed hospital will be constructed at Bempurama,  opposite  Haa town. Bempurama is above Ingo village in Katsho gewog, and about 14 minutes walk from Damthang road near Katsho lower secondary school. District [... Read More]

US ambassador to India visits Bhutan

DSC_0371Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay and US Ambassador Richard R Verma

Diplomacy: Visiting for the first time, the ambassador of the United States of America to India, Richard R Verma discussed with Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay areas of cooperation between the two countries. The ambassador said, during a reception he hosted for the US fellowship alumni yesterday, that the purpose of his visit to Bhutan was to come and learn about some of the issues here and to also understand programmes like education, development and cultural conservations they administered from the Embassy in New Delhi.