Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 - 11:22 AM
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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


Defendants’ recanted statements muddy the waters

The serpentine nature of the dealings involved will take some unravelling

 Update: Confusing both prosecutors and court officials, the defendants of the ongoing Lhakhang Karpo case are frequently changing their submissions, to seek dismissal of charges that range from official misconduct, bribery, and forgery to embezzlement.

For instance, defendant Tshewang Rinzin, who was charged with active bribery of a public servant, changed his statement, after the court conducted a cross-examination hearing on March 20.  Initially, Tshewang Rinzin, proprietor of TNW Construction, who supplied sand to the project, submitted that he claimed the bill amounting to Nu 0.705M (million) for supplying 70 truckloads of sand after sieving.

However, Tshewang Rinzin changed his submission, saying that the person, who wrote the statement on his behalf, made a mistake, and requested the court to dismiss his earlier statement and consider project engineer Tashi Gyeltshen’s submission.


World TB Day – Timely reminder of growing problem

Health: Sonam Wangmo didn’t know the price she had to pay for missing her medicines for a day.

Her tuberculosis (TB) relapsed after the first course of treatment, and she is today undergoing the second course for extra-pulmonary TB (EPTB).

Of the various forms of TB diagnosed in the country, EPTB stands at about 42 percent, followed by pulmonary or new smear positive cases at 38 percent, records with the national TB control program show.

Sonam’s mother died of tuberculosis when she was seven years old, and her brother was also infected in 2013.


Goaded into yielding ground?

The National Environment Commission has taken a bold decision.  It has delegated the authority of issuing environment clearance of at least 50 activities to relevant agencies and ministries.

This will come as good news for those, who feel that getting an environment clearance is cumbersome and mired in layers of bureaucratic process.  In fact, if the decision to delegate authority was meant to speed up processes of starting a business or a project, it should have been done a long time ago.

The commission comes under heavy criticism, whenever a clearance for big or small projects is delayed for whatever reasons.  As the final issuing authority, many felt that the commission was responsible for all the delays.  A good example is the delay in starting a mining industry, where, according to some, applicants change their minds while awaiting clearance.


Health help line prank called daily

Need for law to hold prank callers liable recommended

Health: About 200,000 hoax calls were made to the Health Help Centre (HHC) last year.

The centre receives hoax calls throughout the day.

Of these only around 12,000 were genuine calls, last year.

Many of the hoax calls received by the centre are disconnected calls. People call the centre and hang up when it is answered.

The centre received about 5,000 actual abuse calls, last year, where callers engage the call centre’s staff and initiate conversation unrelated to health. Callers also tend to play music once their call is answered.


Mandarin exports more than double in 2014

Increased production is attributed in part to the support growers received from MoA

Horticulture: Citrus mandarin (orange) export to Bangladesh in 2014 earned Bhutanese exporters USD 10.42M (million), the highest earnings in about 14 years.

The figures with the Bhutan Exporters Association (BEA) show Bhutan was able to produce about 26,728.10MT (metric tonnes) of mandarin last year, which is more than double the 12,728.10MT produced in 2013.  Exporters in 2013 had made about USD 5.6M from oranges.

The general secretary of the association, Tshering Yeshey, said 2014 saw substantial production and, therefore, earnings. “This is excluding the exports to India,” he said.