Alone at home with her five-year-old daughter, a mother texted her husband to come home early, if he could. She was scared. With the gossip mill churning out stories of another big one coming soon, the second big earthquake in Nepal yesterday afternoon shook us again.
There are no reports of major damages in the country, although we felt the tremors of the quake that happened 350km away. Yesterday’s was closer to us and rumours are fast spreading that the next mishap could be on a fault closer to home.
Unlike weather, earthquakes cannot be forecast. Experts are concluding that the two big ones in two weeks in Nepal have not been able to release the strain built for decades.
Accident: Five months after an ambulance driver hit a five-year-old boy in Dewathang, police on May 11 charged the 23-year-old driver to court for culpable driving and negligence.
The incident occurred on December 5, 2014 when the driver for Dewathang hospital had gone to the army colony, a few kilometres from the hospital to get a patient. While reversing, the ambulance hit the boy, who fell and struck his head on the cement floor.
Economy: The long-awaited Bongdema Industrial Estate in Mongar saw some development with the inaugural of a bridge and an access road construction on May 10.
Without a bridge and an access road, the department could not allot plots to the developers. “This (bridge and access road) was a necessity for the Bongdema industrial estate,” said an official from the department, KB Biswa.
Once the road and bridge construction are completed, he said, basic infrastructure like electricity, water supply and other necessity infrastructure would be developed.
Saling gup Sonam Yeshi, said this would benefit the private sector. “This is one project which would foster economic development in eastern dzongkhags,” he said.
Grant: Over 80 percent of the Nu 410M (million) gewog development grant (GDG) for 2013 was spent on non-economic activities across the country, according to an assessment by the National Council’s good governance committee.
Although the GDG implementation guideline clearly states to use the grant for creation of income and employment generating activities, the assessment found that only five percent of the Nu 410M, which amounts to Nu 21M was spent on agriculture. The amount of grant spent on small and cottage industries for creation of employment was even less.
Quake: Just as the last panelist, Bhutan Media Foundation’s director, Dawa Penjor, was speaking on Gross National Happiness (GNH) and media, the tremor that occurred around 1pm in Bhutan ended the discussion and sent some 25 participants rushing outside the Phuntsho Pelri hotel in Thimphu.
Some 25 entrepreneurs and representatives from civil service organisations from around the world were discussing the concept of GNH and its application in the wellbeing of individuals yesterday. The GNH Centre organised the discussion.
Of the people charged, 30 were immigration officials and four police personnel
ACC: The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has forwarded 82 cases to the Phuentsholing dungkhag court for their alleged involvement in bribery and illegal entry and exit of foreign workers.
This comes nine months after the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) suspended 21 foreign workers recruitment agents (FWRA) and 12 immigration officials in August 2014.
Parliament: Illegal possession of narcotics and psychotropic substances could result in conviction of a misdemeanor to a first-degree felony depending on the quantity that one is caught with.
This is according to the Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Substance Abuse bill (NDPSSA) 2014 that the joint sitting of the Parliament endorsed yesterday.
The bill states that a person shall be guilty of an offence of illegal possession of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances categorised under various schedules if the person fails to produce a prescription from a registered physician for licit use.
Religion: The Pung-Thim dratshang (central monastic body) yesterday submitted a petition to the prime minister through the cabinet secretary, requesting the government to consider stopping the ongoing mega-meat processing project.
Signed by four lopons of the zhung-dratshang, and stamped with an official seal of the central monastic body, the petition states that, according to the zhung dratshang, the initiative is a non-virtuous project, and was seen to be inappropriate for a Buddhist country.
The petition stated that the opening of such a non-virtuous project in a Buddhist country that has been blessed by many great bodhisattvas would be equal to converting a pure land of the Buddhas (heaven) into a butchers’ zone.
A required inspection, yet to be carried out, has been delaying progress for the past two years
DANTAK: Nine years after its construction started, the bridge over the river Singye is still not complete.
Started in 2007, construction of the bridge in Pasakha, Sampheling gewog, has halted for almost two years now.
The bridge is 80 percent completed. Piles of sand, gravel, and iron rods still litter the construction site.
The bridge after construction will benefit more than 300 households in three villages, Rangaytung, Dhungana, and Pakchina in Sampheling.
… to allow for a third re-tender for an online office suite to be completed
E-governance: The government has extended its one-year subscription of the online office suite, that ended last week, for another three months.
Following discussions with Google, the government was also able to extend the discounted pricing it acquired for its one-year subscription, at around Nu 158 or USD 2.5 per account per month. The normal cost is around Nu 262.5 or USD 4.2 per account per month.
With 5,000 accounts being subscribed for, this amounts to Nu 2.3 million or USD 37,500 for using Google Apps for another three months.