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Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 - 10:14 AM
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NEC to start levying application and processing fees

The move drew sharp responses from the six eastern dzongkhags

Clearance: Beginning July, the National Environment Commission (NEC) will start charging an application fee of Nu 500, along with a processing fee, which would depend on the nature of the work, for environmental clearances (EC).

For instance, the processing fee for construction of any type of road would be two Ngultrums for every metre.  For small, medium and large cottage industries, the fees charged would be Nu 2,000, Nu 30,000 and Nu 50,000 respectively.

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The hydra-headed monster in our midst

It was quite a scene at the Zangtopelri complex in Phuentsholing town, as Anti Corruption Commission officials shut down a shopping complex and three other shops, allegedly linked to corrupt practices.

A huge crowd gathered at the premises as words spread about the presence of the ACC investigation team.  By the time officials sealed the shops, police had to shoo the crowd away.  Such activities always draw public attention.

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Drayangs get support from local government

IMG_4640The tshogdu declined dzongkhag administration’s bid to suspend issuance of licenses

Society: After a majority of members voted no to the proposal, Bumthang’s dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) recently turned down the dzongkhag’s proposal to suspend the issuance of license for drayangs in the dzongkhag.

DT chairperson, Sangla, said the decision could not be endorsed, as a majority of the members were against the proposal.

“Moreover, such decisions, which can have a larger impact on the population, can’t be taken as some members are also missing,” Sangla said.

Tang gup, Thinley Namgay, and Ura gup, Dorji Wangchuk, both voted no to the proposal for economic reasons.

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TP Sherpa’s pet bottle greenhouse

SAM_1327Recycled: Tshering P Sherpa grows tomatoes in his greenhouse

Innovation: There were just too many pet bottles, here, there and everywhere.  And then the idea struck him.  Tshering Penjor Sherpa, 27, from Rangthaling in Tsirang, came up with the notion to build a greenhouse out of pet bottles.

It took 400kg of pet bottles for Tshering Penjor Sherpa to construct a greenhouse.  He collected the discarded bottles from town.  Some he bought from scrap dealers.  He has a shack filled with pet bottles.

Tshering Penjor Sherpa’s greenhouse at Nimesa village is today the centre of attraction.

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Medical camp in Punakha draws moderate response

There were many, however, who were not told of this chance to consult US specialists

Health: More than 300 people, mostly children consulted doctors from USA, who were in Punakha hospital for a five-day health camp that was organised by Helping Hands-health and education, a US based nonprofit organisation in collaboration with the health ministry.

A team of 11 – a gynaecologist Dr Sue Haney, three paediatricians Dr Tom Boschen, Dr Michell Haney Kerr and Dr Herb Rheingrubex, three nurses, along with four others, conducted the check up.

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National basketball team leaves for the Philippines

Basketball: The national basketball team has left for the Philippines for a 10-day practice trip that is expected to help them get used to the international scene.

The national coach with Bhutan Basketball Federation (BBF), Tenxin Jamtsho, said that the team will have practice matches with local and university teams in Philippines, where basketball is hugely popular. “The main reason for this practice session is to help adjust our players to international standard of the game and it is also a preparation for the SABA games. It is an exposure match for our new team members,” he said.

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ACC shuts down shops in Phuentsholing

DSC_1018Closed for investigation: The Jatan Prasad Lal Chand Prasad complex was shut down along with other shops in Phuentsholing yesterday

Corruption: The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) closed down three shops in Phuentsholing town last evening for alleged corrupt practices.

While details are sketchy, sources said the commission’s team had also apprehended at least 20 people, mostly non-Bhutanese, for interrogation.

The ACC team, accompanied by police personnel, zoomed into a busy JPLP, which is one of the biggest complexes in town, located near the Zangtopelri roundabout yesterday evening.  After about an hour long interrogation, the commission team sealed the entrance to the complex.

An Indian man with a legitimate Bhutanese license owns the JPLP.  Meanwhile, Rigsel Enterprise and Tsheldrup Enterprise are the other two shops the ACC team closed down.

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Court not convinced by OAG’s evidence

The cases against the then Haa dzongdag are looking increasingly untenable

Update: The Haa district court was not convinced with the rebuttal submission of evidence by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) against foreign minister Rinzin Dorje, who has been charged on omission, amounting to abuse of function and embezzlement of public property.

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Longevity of Bhutan’s glaciers questionable

Though the 2035 Himalayan deadline was deemed wrong, the same can’t be said for the ones here 

Symposium: Bigger Himalayan glaciers, like Siachen and Gangotri in India, can survive 300 years even with the current recession rate of 20m on an average a year, according to experts from the Geological Survey of India (GSI).

But that is no consolation for Bhutan.

The director, glaciology division of the GSI, Arun Chaturvedi, at the recent international glacier symposium at Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment in Bumthang, said the same could not be said about glaciers in Bhutan.

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Streamlining the environmental assessment process

The idea is to strike a balance between expediency and eco-friendly conditions

Environment: To improve the environment assessment process, the environmental impact assessment (EIA) will be categorised and the terms of reference (ToR) simplified.

This was deliberated during a dialogue on assessment of projects for environmental clearance (EC) between the National Environment Commission (NEC) and the six eastern dzongkhags, yesterday.

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