Sunday, July 5th, 2015 - 7:19 PM
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Pemagatshel – the odd man out

The last thing the people of Pemagatshel would want to hear is that they are without either a dzongkhag or a yenlag thromde.

If the proposed thromdes are a harbinger of development, Pemagatshel should be the first to have one, even more than prescribed by law, as it is one of the least developed dzongkhags in the country.


Daga farmers complain of dusty crops with quarry pollution

IMG_0323A truck transports stone from the quarry

Mining: The people of Daga gewog in Wangduephodrang last month verbally requested its gewog administration to ask the Renewal Natural Resources (RNR) officials to inspect the dust pollution on their crops allegedly caused by stone quarries operating nearby.

The gewog officials are yet to approach the RNR officials to inspect the crops in Taksha silli village.

“We wrote to the quarry owners about the dust pollution and the need to water the road to avoid dust pollution,” Daga gewog officials said.  However, no action was taken.

Of the 10 stone quarries that are operational today in Wangdue, five are in and around Daga gewog, one of the poorest and most remote gewogs in Wangdue.  The gewog is also one of the least populated with 152 households and about 1,300 people.


Gaur gores another man

DSC_1599The gaur was first sighted on the banks of Toorsa on June 6

Wildlife: The gaur at Toorsa in Phuentsholing injured a man in his mid-thirties yesterday. The man encountered the gaur while returning from the gup’s office.

Hari Das Rai will be referred to the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck national referral hospital for surgery today.

Although he didn’t sustain internal injuries, hospital staff in Phuentsholing confirmed that he had a deep wound on his face with mandible bone fracture.  The right eye was also swollen.

Hari Das said the gaur came out suddenly and struck him on the back, when he tried running after encountering the animal. “I don’t remember anything after that,” he said.

Eyewitnesses said the gaur was seen on the gewog road that connects Bangay Bazaar and Darjaygaon of Phuentsholing gewog.  Hari Das was attacked on this road.


Two Bhutanese finish Mongolian marathons in top 10

sportsSangay Wangchuk (left) and Nima Dorji (Photo courtesy: BAAF)

Almost 17,000 runners from 20 countries participated in the marathons 

Marathon: Two Bhutanese athletes were recognised by the Mongolian Athletic Federation for their efforts after finishing in the top 10 of the sixth International Ulaanbaatar Marathon in Mongolia on June 6.

Sangay Wangchuk, 32, came seventh in the full marathon (42.18km) finishing within a time of two hours and 58 minutes while Nima Dorji, 29, also came seventh in the half marathon (21.1km) completing the run in one hour and 17 minutes.

Sangay Wangchuk is a physical training instructor at the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) training centre in Tencholing. Sangay is one of the top athletes in the country having completed the first Bhutan International Marathon in 2014 in a record time of two hours and 38 minutes.


E-taxi drivers want their money back

IMG_0547The quick charging point at Thunder Motor showroom awaits power connection

Brief life period of batteries, with less mileage than stipulated, is the main issue

Nissan: The six e-taxi drivers want the dealer of electric vehicles, Thunder Motors, to either fully refund their money, or replace the battery so that it runs 175km after a full charge, as promised.

A petition explaining the issue in detail was submitted to the Prime Minister on May 26.  Their main grievance is that they were cheated on the mileage.  The drivers claim that, before they bought the car, the dealer had promised 175km on full charge, but the battery lasted between 50-80km only.

In the last 10 months since the first e-taxi was bought, drivers approached three ministers with the mileage issue.  They approached the foreign minister first at the Meet the People Programme in January.  The foreign minister had immediately directed Thunder Motors to carry out a test drive.


Motor transport deal to be signed

SAARC: As part of an effort to bolster trade and people-to-people contact within the SAARC region, a motor vehicle agreement will be signed by Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, on June 15 in Thimphu.

The agreement will provide a framework for the four countries to work on bilateral or trilateral agreements and pave the way for vehicles, both personal and commercial, to move across borders.

If it goes as planned, this would mean Bhutanese trucks will be able to transport cargo all the way into Bangladesh or Nepal via India, and return with cargo from there. Currently, they have to stop and unload their cargoes at the border with the two countries.


Indian cars for personal use need no import licence

DoT: Bhutanese individuals wanting to buy vehicles from manufacturers and dealers in India for personal use may import without an import licence.

This was one of the decisions the Department of Trade (DoT) took, as per the preferential trading agreements and import procedures in vogue, after meeting the principal company representatives of the 10 vehicle dealers in the country.

In March, the department had asked all vehicle dealers to invite a representative from their principal company, following numerous complaints from customers that dealers were overcharging on imported vehicles.


Nu 50.7B budget bustled through

Assembly: The National Assembly yesterday unanimously passed the 2015-16 budget to the tune of Nu 50.7B (billion).

Forty-two members of the 43 present voted in favour of the budget, and one abstained from voting.

Bartsham – Shongphu member Wangdi Norbu, who abstained, said, he couldn’t agree with the accusations that the previous government had borrowed excessively.

The non-hydro borrowing the previous government made was also self-liquidating and non-budgetary, he said.  For instance, he said, the borrowing for electrification would be repaid by the Bhutan Power corporation from their profits.  Likewise, the Dungsam cement would pay its own loan.


No more monopoly

The department of trade has come with an important decision that will go down well with the public.  It has now announced that any Bhutanese wanting to buy vehicles can do so from dealers other than Bhutanese dealers.


Getting the gaur down


Wildlife: It took the Wildlife Conservation Division (WCD) officials more than three hours to tranquillise the gaur bull at Chamkuna’s Toorsa embankment in Phuentsholing yesterday.

After sedating, it took the officials another two hours to medicate the injured animal.

With the right eye completely blind and an injured foot, the gaur was first sighted dawdling in the grassland over the river mounds on June 6.  Foresters in Phuentsholing have been protecting the animal since then.

The feat of bringing down the beast yesterday garnered attention from close to a hundred people at the Toorsa embankment.  Without their help, the conservation division officials would have still fallen short of power, despite Phuentsholing foresters’ assistance.