Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 - 2:35 PM

Chokorling farmers fight a losing battle

IMG_4965Orange trees have died in almost all the villages in Chokhorling

If it’s not blight decimating orange orchards, its wildlife marauding maize fields 

Agriculture: With disease outbreak and wildlife destroying crops, farmers of Chokhorling in Pemagatshel are increasingly finding it difficult to earn an income.

For over a decade farmers of the five chiwogs under Chokhorling have been fighting citrus blight that spread among the orchards, almost all of which have trees that have dried up.  Chokhorling has 267 households.

Farmer said citrus blight first hit Dezemo [... Read More]

Taking the hazard out of the highway

Safety first, with speed bumps for drivers and zebra crossings for pedestrians

Expressway: The Thimphu-Babesa expressway will no longer be called by that name.

It will be a part of the city’s urban road network and not a highway anymore.

With the wire mesh along the expressway removed, road safety and transport authority (RSTA) officials said pedestrians could cross the expressway but through the markings.

RSTA have also issued a notification in this regard.  However, the markings [... Read More]

Domestic electricity sales revenue increases by 8 percent

BPC: Bhutan Power corporation (BPC) earned a total revenue of Nu 6.4B in 2013, recording a net after tax profit of Nu 963M, an increase of Nu 65M compared with the previous year.

Figures from the BPC’s annual report reveal about 8 percent increase in electricity sales.

This was because the average tariff last year was Nu 1.81 per unit, as compared to Nu 1.73 in 2012, besides the increased customer base and wheeling charges.

Another [... Read More]

Drupchus – The only potable water in Lobesa

IMG_2117Project drivers ferry about 50 jerry cans of water everyday from Penzomgyelmo drupchu below Thinleygang

Shortage: With their drinking water sources blocked by muck from road widening works that is further disrupted by the continuous rainfall, people of Lobesa make use of drupchus (holy water) in their locality.

Residents said, if not for the drupchu, they would have no choice than to drink muddy water.

Drupchu is clean and dirt free despite the change in weather,” a woman, who fetches drinking water from Wola drupchu, on the way to Punakha, [... Read More]

Picture story

A Nyagoe contestant enthralls spectators as Samdrupjongkhar prepares for the national level Nyagoe (strongman) competition. About six men took part in the selection and one of them will be selected to represent the dzongkhag.


Public debt management, a dicey business

Though the finance ministry is holding the ball, there are other players (MoEA, DHI, GNHC) in the court

Report: Given the country’s high debt burden and the economy’s dependence on grants and loans, the current system of debt management is not adequate to ensure sustainable public debt management, the Royal Audit Authority (RAA) cautioned.

Lack of clear policies and rules and absence of maximum debt ceiling could expose huge risk and push the country to [... Read More]

Expansion work at Paro int’l airport stalled

DCA: With the department of civil aviation (DCA) broke, expansion work at Paro international airport has almost ground to a complete halt.

The department has not been able to pay contractors since at least April, and has bills pending worth around Nu 20M.  It has been asking the Gross National Happiness commission (GNHC) for the money since then but is yet to receive any budget.

The government of India (GoI) is funding the airport’s expansion.  [... Read More]

Nub-Chutoe’s newfound forest wealth

IMG_1501Multi-tasking : Framers search for rhizomes on their way home from work

Plants in the wild have suddenly acquired value now that there is market demand

Flora: Farmers in Nub-Chutoe valley of Trongsa have found a new reason to be in the forest.

The farmers, who usually spend time in farm and forest doing daily work, have now started picking mushrooms, and collecting petals of Rosa brunonii and the rhizome Paris polyphylla.

These plants are found abundantly in the locality, but only recently have farmers started collecting it, [... Read More]

Lyonchhoen in Japan

Visit: Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and the Bhutanese delegation has reached Japan yesterday.

On arriving in Japan, on the invitation of the Japanese government, the lyonchhoen had already met several representatives of Japanese companies.

Although there was no official news release, the Lyonchhoen tweeted that he had already met “several companies that are interested in doing business with Bhutan in education, agriculture and construction.”

The Lyonchhoen is on a four-day official visit to Japan and is [... Read More]


Safety before aesthetics

With removal of wire mesh dividing the two lanes on capital’s expressway, the probability of accidents has become even higher.  It was never a safe road, and the wire mesh wasn’t either.

The only good that came out of its removal is it’s no longer an eyesore, and it was with this intention that it was removed in preparation for the Indian prime minister’s visit.

The divider would often be a tangle of wires, after a vehicle [... Read More]

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