Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 - 5:15 PM
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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.


First batch of power tillers due in 2017

Under the general grants aid assistance of GoJ, large numbers are not provided

Farming: A first batch of 400 power tillers of the 1,450 requested from the Japanese government is expected to arrive in 2017, according to the agriculture ministry.

While the Japanese cabinet has not officially accepted the request and it is still under consideration, a preliminary survey team from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was in the country to discuss project implementation.

“We recognise that the cooperation on farm mechanisation is very important for Bhutan, which would not only enhance agricultural productivity, but also reduce the unemployment rate of young Bhutanese through preventing their turning away from agriculture,” a spokesperson for the embassy of Japan in New Delhi, responded by email, earlier last month. “The proposal from the government is under consideration by the government of Japan now.”


Picture story

Round Two: Voters of Photshorong chiwog in Mongar gewog caste their vote to choose their candidate for the gup’s post yesterday. The second round of bye-elections for the vacant post will be held on April 6.


Fulbright scholarship was awarded fairly: DAHE

Education: The allegation against the award of a US Fulbright scholarship, which was shared through an anonymous letter on social media, is invalid, the Department of Adult and Higher Education’s (DAHE)director general said.

“The selection process was fair and inclusive,” director general Tshewang Tandin said.

The letter, posted on social media, alleged that the scholarship recipient was a class 12 graduate of 2013. “The student’s class XII academic session started in mid 2013 and completed in mid 2014, so technically, he qualifies.”


Online portal for all geospatial data by 2017

But a data sharing policy will have to be drafted first 

Land: Since its launch in October last year, an online geo-portal for geospatial data has hardly been accessed.

National Land Commission (NLC) officials said there is a need to create awareness about the the web portal for geospatial information. The web portal is useful for planners and local government officials while framing planning developments activities.

However, the commission is yet to draft a data sharing policy. NLC secretary, Pema Chewang, said that to define who will have access to what level of geospatial data, a data sharing policy is a must.

“Without a policy, we can’t say what kind of data will be freely accessible to whom,” he said. “We’ve to consider the sensitivity of information.”


Two forest fires in Wangdue

Forest fire: Two forest fires that are blazing since March 15 at two locations, Jarigang and Baychutop in Kamichu, Wangdue has razed hundreds of acres of forest and is still not under control.

A forest official at Kamichu, Namgay said the forest fire at Jarigang started at 9pm while the other fire at Baychutop broke out around 7:20pm on the same night.

Strong winds, rocky terrain and absence of water sources are making it challenging for the fire fighters to contain the fire.


Dagachu is up and running

After a series of deadlines missed, the first Bhutanese managed project is commissioned

Hydropower: The 126 MW Dagachu hydro power project (DHPP) is now fully commissioned, with the second 63MW (megawatt) unit test on March 15.

The first test was conducted on February 20.

The national load dispatch centre (NLDC) has confirmed the operation date to the eastern regional load dispatch centre in Kolkata (ERLDC) and the Indian national load dispatch centre in Delhi.

After a three-month delay, the project faced a cost escalation of at least Nu 160M (million).


More than a mere game

The national football team came home on Saturday to a heroic reception.  The big win in our first World Cup qualifying match against Sri Lanka has suddenly turned the attention on the national squad.

There is a feel of togetherness at home, at least among those who follow football.  Wishes are overflowing on social media for the Dragon Boys.  Beyond the mountains, our first win made headlines.  There were many rave reviews of our first game.  But the match is not over.  There is a second leg to be played.

There is confidence in the air among the squad that we will emerge winners.  Call it mind games or overconfidence, both teams are predicting not only a win but by how many goals.


Priority clearance for Bunakha reservoir scheme

This was revealed in the MoEA’s draft annual performance agreement

Hydropower: The Bunakha reservoir scheme, which will generate 180MW of electricity, and augment the generation of Tala and Chukha downstream, is to be cleared for implementation within the next financial year.

In its draft annual performance agreement, the economic affairs ministry plans to clear at least one joint venture project for implementation among the three identified – Bunakha, Chamkharchu-I and Wangchu.

During a coordination meeting between the ministries and dzongkhags on March 12, the economic affairs’ joint secretary, Sonam P Wangdi, said the Bunakha reservoir would be prioritised among the three.