Saturday, April 18th, 2015 - 10:42 PM
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Bid to bring Thimphu and Wangdue even closer

Nahi-Chamgang highway proposed will reduce inter-district distance by half

DT: Local leaders of Wangdue unanimously voted to propose a highway to connect Nahi gewog in Wangdue and Chamgang in Thimphu, yesterday at the ninth dzogkhag tshogdu (DT).

The DT decided to propose the highway’s construction at the upcoming parliament session and also to the works and human settlement ministry.

Nahi gup Karpo Dorji raised the issue saying that it was a request from the people.

The road, Karpo Dorji said, after completion, could serve as another highway between Thimphu and Wangdue.  It would also cut down the 70-km distance between the two districts by almost half.


TCB to conduct satellite accounting

A means of generating data with a view to promote domestic tourism 

Tourism: For a better understanding of inbound, domestic and outbound tourism expenditure, the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) will conduct the first tourism satellite accounting in the upcoming financial year.

A tourism satellite accounting is a standard framework that serves as the main tool for economic measurement of tourism.  This, TCB officials said, would help them capture the scope and movement of domestic tourism, besides the spending patterns of both domestic and outbound tourists.

TCB’s head of planning division, Kinley Wangdi, said the council was looking at how to tap domestic tourism. “Through the tourism satellite accounting, we’ll be able to capture domestic tourism in data and analyse it,” he said.


Perennially parched Pam


The village’s decade long wait for its thirst to be quenched looks likely to go on 

Water: After villagers of Pam waited for almost a decade for a new water source at Bamridrang in Trashigang, a recent survey carried out by the dzongkhag found the proposed site to be not feasible.

Economic affairs minister, Norbu Wangchuk, had pledged that a new water source would be identified to ease the water woes in Pam.  During his constituency visit last year, lyonpo called for a survey to be carried out at Bamridrang.

However, given the difficult terrain, the survey team could not reach the proposed site.

Dzongkhag engineer, Chador Phuntsho, said the identified location was not found feasible because the river gets flooded every summer, and that there was no tapping point either.  He said that the alignment of pipes would also not have been possible.


Japan grants 193 million Yen for three projects

Grant: To replace old ambulances, Japan would provide 20 ambulances worth 172 million Japanese Yen to the health ministry beginning this year.

It is one of the three projects that the two governments’ representatives, Ambassador of Bhutan to Japan Vetsop Namgyel and Ambassador of Japan to Bhutan Takeshi Yagi will sign at the Japanese embassy in New Delhi today.

The three grant assistance projects worth 193 million Japanese Yen are the second phase of the Replacement of Ambulances project, Grant Contracts for the Project for the Renovation of Irrigation Channels in Mongar gewog and the bridge construction project in Athang gewog, Wangduephodrang.


Picture story

A spark from falling boulders started a forest fire opposite Fawan in Lhuentse yesterday around 1:30pm. Locals said falling boulders was responsible for most forest fires in the area, which also makes it difficult for them to contain the fire.


Mangdechu project ahead of schedule

The annual energy generation from the Nu 45B project is estimated at 2.9 billion units

MHPA: The Mangdechu hydropower project is now 60 percent complete and is on track to be commissioned by September 2017.

The Trongsa-based 720 mega watt (MW) project is one of the big hydropower undertakings that is on track to be completed on the stipulated time, according to project officials. Most of the hydropower projects in Bhutan, like the Punatsangchu I and II, are behind schedule.

Of the total project duration of 66 months, 33 months have elapsed. This  means the project authority has 50 percent of the project duration left for the completion of the remaining 40 percent of the total works.


First batch of power tillers due in 2017

Under the general grants aid assistance of GoJ, large numbers are not provided

Farming: A first batch of 400 power tillers of the 1,450 requested from the Japanese government is expected to arrive in 2017, according to the agriculture ministry.

While the Japanese cabinet has not officially accepted the request and it is still under consideration, a preliminary survey team from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was in the country to discuss project implementation.

“We recognise that the cooperation on farm mechanisation is very important for Bhutan, which would not only enhance agricultural productivity, but also reduce the unemployment rate of young Bhutanese through preventing their turning away from agriculture,” a spokesperson for the embassy of Japan in New Delhi, responded by email, earlier last month. “The proposal from the government is under consideration by the government of Japan now.”


Picture story

Round Two: Voters of Photshorong chiwog in Mongar gewog caste their vote to choose their candidate for the gup’s post yesterday. The second round of bye-elections for the vacant post will be held on April 6.


Fulbright scholarship was awarded fairly: DAHE

Education: The allegation against the award of a US Fulbright scholarship, which was shared through an anonymous letter on social media, is invalid, the Department of Adult and Higher Education’s (DAHE)director general said.

“The selection process was fair and inclusive,” director general Tshewang Tandin said.

The letter, posted on social media, alleged that the scholarship recipient was a class 12 graduate of 2013. “The student’s class XII academic session started in mid 2013 and completed in mid 2014, so technically, he qualifies.”


Online portal for all geospatial data by 2017

But a data sharing policy will have to be drafted first 

Land: Since its launch in October last year, an online geo-portal for geospatial data has hardly been accessed.

National Land Commission (NLC) officials said there is a need to create awareness about the the web portal for geospatial information. The web portal is useful for planners and local government officials while framing planning developments activities.

However, the commission is yet to draft a data sharing policy. NLC secretary, Pema Chewang, said that to define who will have access to what level of geospatial data, a data sharing policy is a must.

“Without a policy, we can’t say what kind of data will be freely accessible to whom,” he said. “We’ve to consider the sensitivity of information.”