Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 - 8:13 AM
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16 monks injured in Bolero crash on Assam bridge

IMG_8883Towed: The bolero pickup that crashed into a bridge railing on the Assam highway is now with the Indian police

Accident: A Bolero pick up that crashed into a bridge railing on June 6 on the Assam highway has resulted in all its passengers, 15 monks, being admitted in hospitals.

Five monks, who suffered head injuries and are critical, were referred to Guwahati hospital in Assam.

Ten others are still admitted in Samdrupjongkhar hospital. One of them fractured his left hand, and the rest had minor injuries.

The incident occurred around 1:30pm at Barama, about 60km from Samdrupjongkhar.

The monks, most below 20 years, were travelling with the khenpo from Gelephu to Pemagatshel via the Assam highway.  The monks were from a shedra (monastic school) in Zhemgang.  The khenpo was driving the pick-up.


Sale and display of Maggi banned

DSC_4464Not tshog: Maggie noodles sealed by BAFRA inspectors to prevent its sale after the noodles were declared unsafe for consumption.

BAFRA has temporarily banned the instant noodle for safety reasons

Food: A small boy with Nu 10 in his hand asked for a packet of Maggi from one of the shops in the vegetable market in Thimphu yesterday.  But the boy had to buy another noodle.

In another shop, the owner has started removing the packets from the shelves, while a shop in Changangkha sealed a bag containing the noodles.

Almost all shops in the capital do not have Maggi’s instant noodles or don’t sell them following Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority’s (BAFRA) June 6 notification on temporarily banning its display and sale in the country with immediate effect since the source of the implicated product is imported from India.


Pasakha companies have until July to control pollution

DSC_0383An overview of the Pasakha Industrial estate

Following an inspection, it was found that six of nine companies have so far done the needful

Industry: Three companies in Pasakha, Bhutan Carbide and Chemicals, Bhutan Concast, and KK Steel have failed to implement measures to mitigate pollution, improve housekeeping, and self-monitoring, as required by the National Environment Commission Secretariat (NECS).

This was announced at the review meeting held on June 6 in Pasakha between NECS officials and the industries’ representatives.

Nine companies were supposed to build additional Gas Cleaning Plants (GCP) in order to tap and control hazardous fugitive emissions by correcting the tapping process.


A timely reminder

Last week some Indian media and online sites picked up a story from a two-day workshop on cross border cooperation to prevent human trafficking.  The story labelled Bhutan as a fast emerging centre for human trafficking.

Such stories can leave a negative impression on the image of the country.  With most foreign media focused on the gross national happiness and the last Shangri-La tag when covering Bhutan, anything that suggests against such idealism sells.   Quite often, the media is tempted to write the other side of the “happy country,” and most times it can be a little exaggerated.


EcoSmartHydro pilot project joint venture

DHI and Natel Energy USA have entered into an agreement to explore its development 

MoU: If building hydropower plants is considered less environment friendly and capital intensive, there seems to be a technology to overcome these issues.

Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) and Natel Energy, USA have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build an EcoSmartHydro pilot project under a grant scheme sourced from third parties and to gradually upscale it.


Company cries foul at tender award

Work was not given to the lowest evaluated bidder

Tender: A private company in Guwahati, M/s North East Silliminate, is crying foul at the way Dungsam Cement corporation ltd (DCCL) awarded a tender for supplying “refractory materials”.

DCCL in March had invited a tender for supply of refractory materials, wherein M/s North East Silliminate was declared the lowest bidder.  However, DCCL awarded the work to a Mumbai-based company, M/s Caderlys India Refractories limited, prompting M/s North East Silliminate to call the tender process ‘flawed and poor management system’.


The faltering farm road of Drujaygang

Road: People of Thimtama of Drujaygang gewog, Dagana are not happy that construction work on the 5.8km Menchuna-Thimtama farm road was stopped a month after it began in February this year.

Passang Dorji, 51, who was appointed the farm road’s tshogpa, said people have been asking him why the work was halted, and what would happen to the road, which was already listed in the plan.


Not worth the aggravation

IMG_5584Sagay walks back to his village with around 40kgs of oil strapped onto his back

That’s how most people view life in the remote villages of Trongsa

Lifestyle: Sagay, 40, is one of the few men left in Phumzur.

Many have left the village, dissatisfied with the remoteness.  Remaining behind means a life of hardship and, sometimes, despair.

For instance, today, he is at his sister’s home in Langthel, in Trongsa.  He had stopped by for the night in the midst of an arduous task just to obtain some oil.

Sagay has a long and weary journey ahead.  As soon as he eats his breakfast, he strips down his mathra gho to the waist and straps on a bamboo basket that weighs around 40kg.  In the basket there are jerry cans of freshly squeezed mustard oil, and a few kilograms of flour.


Juvenile bear rescued from Baylangdra

bear-rescuedThe rescued cub

Rescue: Forest officials rescued a juvenile bear from Baylangdra in Kashi gewog, Wangdue on June 5.

Wangude forest division’s deputy chief forest officer Tashi Dhendup said the bear was two months old. “We suspect that poachers might have killed the mother bear and left the juvenile alone in the forest,” he said.

He added that a few days ago, when a forest official from Wangdue visited the Baylandgdra site, he saw the bear being rescued and kept with a tsampa (hermit). The forester had then called the wildlife conservation division in Thimphu, who instructed them to rescue the bear.


Lobzang Tshering is new Mr Bhutan

DSC_4383The winners with chief guest health minister Tandin Wangchuk

Bodybuilding: The 8th National Bodybuilding Championship in Thimphu Saturday saw a new champion.

Friends and family members of participants looked more nervous than the participants themselves. Behind the stage, participant are getting ready, oiling their body to the perfect shine.

Lobzang Tshering is working with some routine poses. He doesn’t know that he will beg the title. Summer is working its evil ways. Spectators are sweating and heaving. Lobzang needs water, immediately. He is worried about the shape that he must present. He takes a gulp and spits out.