Sunday, March 29th, 2015 - 12:47 AM
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Branding happiness for Bhutan

Futurebrand: Bhutan’s happiness concept will now be used to promote brand Bhutan, according to a strategy that a Singapore-based branding consultant, FutureBrand, has come up with.

FutureBrand’s chair of Asia-Pacific operation, Susie Hunt, said it was important to trace where the concept of happiness fits best, instead of just painting a sketchy image of happiness.

Be it in terms of values or economy, she said, branding would provide the country to articulate what makes Bhutan special.  But, this, she said, should be aligned with the national objectives.


Gomdar central school opens its gates

Education: Free uniforms, meals, boarding facilities and stationery were the main reasons why parents enrolled their children in Gomdar central school in Gomdar, Samdrupjongkhar, which officially opened this year.

For 48-year old Chimmi Dema from Richanglu, it was a blessing when she learnt that the school would be providing free uniforms and stationery, and even utensils, to students.  It meant she would no longer have to look for money to shop for her three school-going children. “I’m not sure what the whole policy or the new school is about, but I’m happy that it’s providing everything for free,” she said.

Many parents said that, while it was hard to leave their children behind, the facilities that the school provided were better than what they would provide at home.  This year was also the first time that the parents didn’t travel to Samdrupjongkhar for school shopping.  Gomdar is 72km from Samdrupjongkhar.


Costly prank calls

Making anonymous prank calls is not a crime.  Most people do it once in a while.  The problem is when the wrong place is called for the wrong reasons.

Going by the record of prank or hoax calls the Health Help Centre received in a year, 200,000 calls, the centre set up in the capital city to help assist people in need is being misused.  There is fun and humour in prank or crank calling, but to call such an important centre for fun is not funny.

The centre is short of facilities. There is a limited response team and ambulances to cater to emergencies.  If they are tricked, just for fun, with ambulances, the caller seriously lacks a sense of humour.  The centre makes itself easily available; therefore they have a toll free hotline.  The phone cannot be kept busy because it is free or answering prank calls.  This could miss a real emergency situation.


After forest fire, rolling boulders raise road safety concerns

11037560_1573148259637177_4732498313177363895_nRisky roads: A charred tree trunk lies across the Wangdue-Tsirang highway

 Disaster: A fire that started in Taksha, Wangdue and spread south to Tsirang is almost under control, forest officials said.

However, those plying down the Wangdue-Tsirang highway are cautioned to watch out for rolling stones after crossing Taksha in Wangdue.

Tsirang forest division senior ranger DB Chhetri said, “It’s risky for vehicles to ply on the road, as boulders roll down the slope. So we had to send a few cars back to Damphu.”

The forest fire in Relangthang in Sergithang gewog, Tsirang started on March 21.

Firefighters, including desuups, armed forces, dzongkhag officials and volunteers, saved three houses on March 23, an outreach clinic and an extended classroom yesterday from the fire.


Habitat dislocation – a way of life for Wangdue wildlife

IMG_0218Caretaker Krishna feeds a rescued sambar deer

A rescue centre has been necessitated for this collateral damage of the hydropower projects

 Ecology: The commencement of hydropower projects have destroyed the habitat and displaced several wild animals from the forests of Wangdue.

Three years ago, foresters of Wangdue forest division in Lobesa found three injured sambar deer from Limbukha and Thinleygang area.  The fawns were kept in a temporary rescue shelter near the division office and bottle fed until they turned six months.  The deer, which include two females, were then fed Karma Feed and grass.

They are among the several wild animals that foresters in Wangdue have rescued since 2009.  Chief forest officer, Kencho Dukpa, said, in most cases, the animals had strayed into the city due to disturbances and destruction of their habitats.

Habitat-dislocation has become a persistent problem for the wildlife in Wangdue.  Following the commencement of Punatsangchu hydropower projects, Kencho Dukpa said the number of wild animals leaving their habitat and needing  to be rescued has increased.


Jachungs win Pepsi A league championship

DSC_3523HRH Deki Yangzom Wangchuck with the winners and the runners up of the Pepsi A-League Championship

Basketball: Jachungs comfortably defeated Jaguars 87-71 in the third and deciding game of the finals of the Pepsi “A” league basketball Championship at the Swimming Pool complex yesterday.

Overcoming a 0-1 deficit in the best of three series, the number four seed in the tournament overwhelmed the sixth seeded Jaguars with strong defense, and won two games in a row.

The Jachungs dominated the game from the start ending the first quarter with a 14 point lead. They maintained this lead for the rest of the game.

The Jaguars, who upset the number one and third seeded teams of the tournament, rallied and got the closest in the third quarter. They closed the gap to 10 points in the third with Gyamtsho Tshering scoring three straight baskets, followed by a three by Sonam Tshering.


Three-man Bhutan team for int’l compound bow tournament in China

Archery: How good Bhutan is at archery, played on compound bow, will be seen in May, when a national team takes part in the international compound bow archery competition in Shanghai, China.

The three-member national team – Dedrim Karma Sherab of the Royal Bhutan Army, 2010 highest karey hitter (18 in 15 rounds) in the Yangphel archery tournament, Tshewang Dorji, and a re-curve archer for 12 years, Tashi Peljor, will compete in the tournament.

The team was selected after a seminar and an international style competition was held in 2013.  Bhutan archery federation, in association with Yangphel archery and Easton sports development fund, conducted the competition. “The top three archers were selected for the tournament in China,” BAF’s secretary general Tsewang Rinchen said.


NEC relegates clearance to authorities concerned

The move has been taken with a view to expedite development activities

Environment: To construct urban roads, drainage, bridges, and develop housing estates, the works and human settlement ministry will not require environment clearances from the National Environment Commission (NEC).

In a major decision, NEC, during its 40th commission meeting on March 20, delegated the authority to issue environment clearance for more than 50 activities to the agencies concerned.

The commission also identified 97 activities that would not require an environment clearance.


Many accounts still idle as one year contract nears end

Connectivity issues, low ICT literacy, continued use of personal email might be to blame

E-Governance: Not all of the 5,000 Google accounts, which the government paid Nu 9 million or USD 150,000 for, have been activated despite the one year contract ending at the end of next month.

Of the total number of accounts subscribed for, there are still 463 accounts that have not been activated.

Additionally, of the 4,537 Google accounts that have been activated so far, 460 of them have not been used by the civil servants they were activated for.

With each account having cost the government Nu 1,900 or USD 30, this translates to the government having paid around Nu 855,000 or USD 13,800 for the activated but unused accounts and around Nu 861,000 or USD 13,890 for the unactivated accounts.


Picture story

Flushed out: The heavy rain yesterday evening washed down trash and left drains overflowing along the Norzin Lam