KuenselOnline

Friday, March 27th, 2015 - 5:43 AM
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Foreign minister pleads for acquittal from two charges

Update: In his last rebuttal submission yesterday, foreign minister Rinzin Dorje pleaded with the Haa district court to dismiss two charges against him and acquit him in the ongoing Lhakhang Karpo case.

Lyonpo Rinzin Dorje denied having taken a unilateral decision to award timber sawing work for the Lhakhang Karpo conservation project.   He was rebutting the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), which has accused him of awarding the contract work illegally to LD Sawmill without consulting the tender committee, and for paying the sawmill Nu 37.70 per cubic foot (cft), the rate, which the committee had initially rejected.

The foreign minister said he noted a remark on the paper proposing for the tender committee to re-tender, after finding that the lowest quoted rate of Nu 37.70 was 100 percent higher than the market rate.  He said that the tender committee didn’t inform the chairman of the lowest bidder’s rate being 100 percent above the market rate.

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Two killed in Nganglam hit-and-run incident

The driver of the Bolero that hit the motorcycle though has been apprehended

Accident: Two non-Bhutanese men succumbed to injuries after a Bolero hit the motorcycle they were riding on in Nganglam on March 16.

The incident occurred around 11am near Zala Shing Zor, which is about five kilometres from Nganglam town before reaching the check post.

The men were brothers and one of them was a sub-contractor based in Nganglam.  His brother, who was riding the bike at the time of the incident, was a teacher in Rangapani.  According to police, the teacher died the same day he was referred to Partshala hospital, while his brother died at 2am yesterday at the Guwahatti hospital in Assam.

Patshala hospital is about 50km from Nganglam.

The men were returning home from Nganglam when the Bolero hit their motorcycle.  According to medical reports, police said the impact had caused fractures in their right legs, deep wounds and excessive bleeding.

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Three Mongar gup candidates shortlisted for second round

By-Election: Twenty-five days after its first by-election to elect the Mongar gup, three candidates have again been selected to contest the second round on April 6.

Four candidates, including a woman, came forward to contest the vacant post from Photshorong chiwog.  Sangay Dorji, 31, from Redaza village was selected to contest from the chiwog after securing 47 votes out of 144.

After completing class XII in 2010, Sangay Dorji started driving a taxi. “I have all the documents required by the election office except for a functional literacy test certificate (FLT),” he said.

Another candidate, Neten Wangchuk 45, secured 42 votes, while a former contender, Tshewang Dorji, 32, who was not elected last month, contested again but wasn’t selected. The lone woman candidate Jigme Lhaden, 32, scored 16 votes and wasn’t selected.

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A winning streak

The national football team made history again.  And for the right reasons this time.

As the lowest ranked team in the FIFA ranking, we are known more for the 20-0 drubbing we suffered at the hands of Kuwait years ago than as a footballing nation.  Yesterday, the national team shocked the world and redeemed national pride, as we comfortably beat Sri Lanka, a nation ranked 35 places above us on the FIFA ladder.

With a slim advantage from the first leg in Colombo, all eyes were on Bhutan again as we hosted the Lankan Lions.  If there were skeptics, who thought the 1-0 win in Colombo was more luck than skills, the national team showed what they were made of, as they ran out 3-1 eventual winners.  They made us proud and we are proud of our team.

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Bid to bring Thimphu and Wangdue even closer

Nahi-Chamgang highway proposed will reduce inter-district distance by half

DT: Local leaders of Wangdue unanimously voted to propose a highway to connect Nahi gewog in Wangdue and Chamgang in Thimphu, yesterday at the ninth dzogkhag tshogdu (DT).

The DT decided to propose the highway’s construction at the upcoming parliament session and also to the works and human settlement ministry.

Nahi gup Karpo Dorji raised the issue saying that it was a request from the people.

The road, Karpo Dorji said, after completion, could serve as another highway between Thimphu and Wangdue.  It would also cut down the 70-km distance between the two districts by almost half.

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TCB to conduct satellite accounting

A means of generating data with a view to promote domestic tourism 

Tourism: For a better understanding of inbound, domestic and outbound tourism expenditure, the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) will conduct the first tourism satellite accounting in the upcoming financial year.

A tourism satellite accounting is a standard framework that serves as the main tool for economic measurement of tourism.  This, TCB officials said, would help them capture the scope and movement of domestic tourism, besides the spending patterns of both domestic and outbound tourists.

TCB’s head of planning division, Kinley Wangdi, said the council was looking at how to tap domestic tourism. “Through the tourism satellite accounting, we’ll be able to capture domestic tourism in data and analyse it,” he said.

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Perennially parched Pam

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The village’s decade long wait for its thirst to be quenched looks likely to go on 

Water: After villagers of Pam waited for almost a decade for a new water source at Bamridrang in Trashigang, a recent survey carried out by the dzongkhag found the proposed site to be not feasible.

Economic affairs minister, Norbu Wangchuk, had pledged that a new water source would be identified to ease the water woes in Pam.  During his constituency visit last year, lyonpo called for a survey to be carried out at Bamridrang.

However, given the difficult terrain, the survey team could not reach the proposed site.

Dzongkhag engineer, Chador Phuntsho, said the identified location was not found feasible because the river gets flooded every summer, and that there was no tapping point either.  He said that the alignment of pipes would also not have been possible.

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Japan grants 193 million Yen for three projects

Grant: To replace old ambulances, Japan would provide 20 ambulances worth 172 million Japanese Yen to the health ministry beginning this year.

It is one of the three projects that the two governments’ representatives, Ambassador of Bhutan to Japan Vetsop Namgyel and Ambassador of Japan to Bhutan Takeshi Yagi will sign at the Japanese embassy in New Delhi today.

The three grant assistance projects worth 193 million Japanese Yen are the second phase of the Replacement of Ambulances project, Grant Contracts for the Project for the Renovation of Irrigation Channels in Mongar gewog and the bridge construction project in Athang gewog, Wangduephodrang.

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Picture story

A spark from falling boulders started a forest fire opposite Fawan in Lhuentse yesterday around 1:30pm. Locals said falling boulders was responsible for most forest fires in the area, which also makes it difficult for them to contain the fire.

                                              

Mangdechu project ahead of schedule

The annual energy generation from the Nu 45B project is estimated at 2.9 billion units

MHPA: The Mangdechu hydropower project is now 60 percent complete and is on track to be commissioned by September 2017.

The Trongsa-based 720 mega watt (MW) project is one of the big hydropower undertakings that is on track to be completed on the stipulated time, according to project officials. Most of the hydropower projects in Bhutan, like the Punatsangchu I and II, are behind schedule.

Of the total project duration of 66 months, 33 months have elapsed. This  means the project authority has 50 percent of the project duration left for the completion of the remaining 40 percent of the total works.

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