Judging by the disappointment among partygoers and late night owls, the Royal Bhutan Police’s initiative of “Zero Tolerance Day” is working out fine.
More than a month since the initiative kicked off, there are numerous stories of driving licenses and vehicle registration documents seized by police, as motorists are caught red-handed driving under the influence of alcohol or, in some cases, carrying extra passenger or load.
Plot-owners were given until 2016 to complete any building constructions
Housing: With only a year left before constructions will not be permitted, 21 plot owners in Lhuentse’s main town are yet to even start constructing their buildings.
Of 28 plot owners issued their lag thrams (ownership certificates) in 2008, only five have completed their buildings while two are currently constructing their buildings.
The dzongkhag administration has announced in 2013 that all plot-owners must complete any constructions by 2016.
Event: About 3,000 students from 33 schools under Thimphu dzongkhag participated at the reading awareness programme at the clock tower square on May 23.
The programme began with students walking and reading from a designated point towards the clock tower square in an hour.
A teacher with Changzamtog Lower Secondary School performed a model reading by reading aloud for about 15 minutes.
According to senior thromde education officer, Lham Tshering, the programme was organised to enhance reading culture in the school and community, to create a platform for an exchange program and make reading solidarity, among others.
An overview of the past, threats, issues and opportunities
Biodiversity: Coinciding with the International Day of Biodiversity, Bhutan launched the revised national biodiversity strategies and action plan (NBSAP) at the National Biodiversity Centre in Serbithang on May 22.
The plan contains an overview of the past biodiversity, threats to biodiversity, issues and opportunities in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, and implementation of the plan, among others.
According to NBSAP, one of the major factors of natural habitat loss affecting the ecosystem of Bhutan is land use conversion, while forest fire is the major factor causing habitat degradation and fragmentation.
Only eight kilometres of the 55km highway remains to be completed
Road: The Panbang – Nganglam highway is expected to be completed ahead of its second deadline.
A 30km section of the highway originating from Ngamglam dungkhag in Pemagatshel was completed on May 3, while the second 25km section from Panbang dungkhag in Zhemgang is almost completed.
Only eight kilometres of the second section remain to be black topped.
Livestock: The acute shortage of fodder in winter due to Laya’s extreme weather condition is getting addressed with the improved pasture development initiative.
The gewog of 286 households has the highest yak and horse population. There are 3,076 yaks, 1,296 horses and 50 local cattle. Only 73 households today rear yaks.
Laya’s livestock extension officer, Pema Wangda said in Laya, the grass starts growing only after May and by October end, the entire place turns dry.
He said yaks and horses are one of the main sources of livelihood for Layaps besides cordycep collection. To help people overcome fodder shortage problems, the livestock department has initiated a distribution of pasture seeds annually.
Football: FC Terton wrapped up the Yanmar Thimphu Premier League (YTPL) championship when they defeated Drukpol FC 2-1 yesterday with an amassing 28 points from 12 games.
With three games in hand, FC Terton was made to wait till their final game of the tournament to claim the championship. After losing to Thimphu FC 3-1 on Wednesday, the game was a must win for the table toppers.
The win didn’t come easy for the champions. Drukpol FC dominated the game with a near lead in the first 10 minutes of the game when striker Jigme Drakpa’s goal was ruled offside by the referee.
Given the huge volume of import from India, opinions differ on the merit of hoarding so many dollars
Currency: Bhutan is rich in hard currency reserve, but poor when it comes to rupee, begging the question why hold on to hard currency when the volume of the country’s trade is the maximum with India?
As of March, the central bank had a rupee reserve of Rs 10.9B (about USD 173M) compared to USD 834.9M, equivalent to around Rs 52B secured as convertible currency reserve. This is almost five times more than the much needed rupee reserve.
Telecom: It is likely that the country’s mobile cellular services will become unavailable in the event of a major disaster hitting Bhutan.
When the April 25 earthquake struck Nepal, mobile cellular services even in Bhutan were affected.
Both the country’s telecommunications providers, Bhutan Telecom and Tashi InfoComm, have confirmed that this is a likely scenario. The reason being put forth by the two companies is that their networks will not be able to handle the resulting surge in traffic.
New Appointments: (from left) – His Majesty The King yesterday granted dhar to the General Secretary of the National Assembly Secretariat, Sangay Duba, the Works and Human Settlement Secretary, Phuntsho Wangdi, the Economic Affairs Secretary, Dasho Yeshi Wangdi and the Attorney General, Shera Lhendup.