Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 - 4:06 AM
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Council weighs in on election issues

DSC08455The National Council has directed the legislative committee to submit a final report on election issues

Legislative committee to submit a final report for adoption

NC: The National Council yesterday resolved that the election Act does not need an amendment to include the provision of it being a continuous house, since it was already stated in the National Council (amendment) bill, which the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) assured would be respected.

The National Council discussed election related issues and several provisions in the election rules, guidelines, and handbooks that were identified for improvement.

Council’s legislative committee presented its findings and recommendations on election related issues and provisions for the election rules, regulations, guidelines, and handbooks.

Legislative committee’s chairman, Kuenlay Tshering, said, as directed by the house during the last session, the committee consulted the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) on election related issues.


Deliberations on jabmi bill to continue

Assembly: The National Assembly yesterday resolved that the president of the jabmi tshogdey (bar council) would be elected from its members.

The post of the president was one of the contentious issues in the Jabmi Bill 2014, with some members arguing that the post should be left open for jabmis (lawyers) from outside the council.

“If the president is elected from outside the bar council, the purpose of having the bar council is lost,” Khar-Yurung MP Zanglay Dukpa said.


Dough fat racket unearthed

IMG_5243The repacked dough fat are sold without labels

The unlabelled product was found to mislead and give false information

OCP: One month after launching the consumer protection rules and regulations by the economic affairs ministry, the office of consumer protection (OCP) received a complaint about misleading the people and giving false representation of a product.

The complaint was concerning an imported dough fat, known as Kagye Maa, without label.  The dough fat imported from India was sold as from Singapore.

Dough fat is produced from palm oil.  It is usually used in confectionery and bakery production in Bhutan.  It is further processed to make ritual cakes.


Prioritising sports

Basketball enthusiasts in the capital were greeted with a surprise notice yesterday when they, as usual, came to play at the swimming pool complex.  They were asked to enter the indoor basketball court at their own risk.

The Bhutan Basketball Federation has now confirmed that the complex, built in the early 1970s, is not safe, especially after the recent earthquakes.  Much to the credit of the federation, this is a timely warning.  If the structure is not safe and has to be demolished completely, it is not advisable to use it.  Basketball enthusiasts will understand it.  Safety should come first and it is a wise decision the federation took.


Mangdechu project designed to withstand major quake

IMG_5091MoEA minister Norbu Wangchuk visited the project recently

Hydropower: Clearing rising apprehensions surrounding the safety of Mangdechu hydropower project (MHP) from earthquakes, the authority claims that the project is safe and will be stable in the event of an earthquake, because of inclusion of earthquake parameters in the structures.

“Bhutan should not worry because the earthquake parameters loading on the project structures are taken on the higher side,” the project’s managing director, AK Mishra said.

An inclusion of earthquake parameters means that the project could withstand a major earthquake of magnitude eight at a 15km depth, according the project’s DPR conducted by National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), India.


Picture story

Health minister Tandin Wangchuk, who attended the 68th World Health Assembly in Geneva on May 20, highlighted Bhutan’s vulnerability to natural and climate-induced disasters and urged for health systems’ strengthening and global health solidarity. On sidelines of the Assembly, lyonpo had bilateral meetings with Heads of Delegation of Thailand, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Norway and Australia. Areas of mutual interests in health development and the upcoming Bhutan Health Trust Fund event were discussed. Lyonpo also met with representative of Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and international Atomic Energy Agency. Lyonpo also addressed a special session on Water and Sanitation in Healthcare Facilities organised by the World Health Organisation and WaterAid.


Local leaders don’t want dungkhag to be relocated

The absence of a bridge over Taklai River is one of the main reasons

Gelephu: Although it’s decided, a majority of local leaders from gewogs in Gelephu dungkhag are not satisfied with the decision to relocate the dungkhag administration to Umling. The fifth dzongkhag tshogdu had decided on the relocation last year.

Umling is about 32 km from Gelephu. Umling, Serzhong, Taraythang, Jigmecholing, Chuzagang, Samtenling and Gelephu are gewogs under Gelephu dungkhag.


Slow going on Nganglam-Gyalpoizhing highway

IMG_8703At snail’s pace: Slow progress on the 400 meters stretch along the Nganglam - Gyalpoizhing highway could extend the deadline

A stretch full of rocks is holding up progress from one side

Roads: Although the completion deadline for the Nganglam-Gyalpoizhing highway has been revised to mid-2015, the project officials based in Nganglam said progress on a particular stretch from the Nganglam side has been very slow.

Officials said that this was because of rocks at the stretch that contains dolomite.

After the Department of Roads took over the work on the stretch last year, it has been able to do only about 150m of formation cutting.

Thinley Tenzin, project manager, said the formation cutting was completed within the span of six months after taking over from the contractor November last year, but 150m is too less in terms of performance.


Phaling is starved of vegetable

unnamedVegitable market at Phaling

Agriculture: There is an acute shortage of vegetables in Lhuentse.

Sangay Chozom, 54, who runs a shop in Phaling town, Lhuentse, said the situation is very difficult.  Farmers bring vegetables to the market only about twice a week.

Jigme Zangmo, a housewife, said the vegetable market above Phaling town remained empty most of the time. “I don’t understand why there’s no permanent vegetable sellers.”

Khandu Zangmo, 29, said that getting fresh vegetables has always been a problem.  In the absence of local growers, vegetables are imported, but even that is not enough for the town.

Karma Choden, 37, said that it would be a lot easier for everyone if there were permanent vegetable sellers or vendors in one place.


India Bhutan Friendship Tennis Championship underway

_MG_2622Ambassador Gautam Bambawale offically starts the championship yesterday

Tennis: To promote tennis in the country, the first India Bhutan Friendship Tennis Championship began in Thimphu yesterday.

Top Bhutanese tennis players along with players from Assam, Darjeeling, Nagaland and Kolkata are taking part in the weeklong championship that’s organised by the Bhutan Tennis Federation (BTF) with support from India-Bhutan Foundation.

BTF’s general secretary, Ugyen Wangdi, said the tournament was organised to give the local players exposure to the international level of the game. “This is our first move towards regional tournaments and we would like to take it further,” he said.