Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Princess of my Dream.

It seems a love began...,

google images

In the mystic state of sub-consciousness,

I dreamt you shining like the glistening emerald.

And the genuineness of my limited but priceless words

Like the free flow of rivers in serene vale, thus flow.

You are an alluring petal of alpine Rheum,
The softness which, silk cannot surpass
And like the sparkling dew on its green leaves,
You are the luminous twinkle for my life.

Your sweet fragrance fills the air with aroma,
And from the distant place, I humming-ly land on you,
To get submerged into your nectar of hearty essence
Until the severe frost kills you and me together.

Amid rocky pebbles, you lie firm and intact.
To you I seek the sanctuary from snowy flakes,
In the napkin of your tender leaf I rest,
Until the sun baths us with its warm lights.

You are an art of work, which I gaze without blink.
A timeless melody to listen, your dulcet tunes.
A flawless and enlightened nature, your eternal soul,
Blessed is me, having met you, my elegant damsel.

Separated by miles of emptiness is my body,
Still my spirit, it lingers around your charming heart.
I am an incomplete man in need of wholeness
Should destiny plays fair and my fate be true;

Oh, the Princess of my Dream!
Tightly I  embraced, to protect you from rivalry foes.
But as the alarm calls for the morning duty,
Alas! You remained the Princess of my Dream.

                                     To be continued...,

Friday, 26 August 2011

Political Parties Gearing for the 2013 Race- Part III

Strengths of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa.
Nevertheless, the present government has been striving very hard for the welfare of the citizens since the day it took power in 2008. Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, the ruling party in Bhutan is the second party formed after the People’s Democratic Party in 2007. The party is formed with five experienced ministers of the previous government leading the front-line, followed by high post bureaucrats, civil servants, businesspersons, and fresh graduates. The whole nation with great faith and confidence has brought it into power to form the first Democratic Government with the landslide victory over PDP in March 2008 elections.

His Excellency the PM of Bhutan: dpt Government
With the party manifesto focusing on poverty alleviation, curbing the gap between the rich and the poor by revisiting strategies for equitable development, and reducing the proportion of population living below the poverty line from 31.7 percent to 20 percent within the next five years, the government have done a great job as of now. If not for the petty promises in the villages, their goals of national policymaking, planning and its implementation in general are promising.

The Mid-Term Review of the 10th five-year plan was reported overwhelmingly satisfactory with majority of the national goals fulfilled. By the time the reign of present government ends, it is hopeful that all Bhutanese homes will be lit with electricity. With the coming up of domestic airports and many road widening/shortcutting projects initiated, mode of transport would become more reliable and efficient. By the commencement of e-governance, our common peoples will no longer have to travel to the capital to avail the simple but important documents. In order to improve the human resource, the numbers of scholarships for students completing class 12 are increased manifold and government is making every possible effort to curb the unemployment problem. Electricity, the nation’s only major export item is at the boom with many mega projects already initiated and more in plan. Tourism, one of the biggest sources of revenue for the government has been always a government priority. It is pleasing to hear our Prime Minister state that all the key targets set by the government for the 10th Plan will be achieved within the five-year period. The 10th Five Year Plan (2008-2013) is the first five-year development plan executed by the democratically elected government.

If not for some criticisms they faced regarding the controversial issues of Constituency Development Grant, State Funding of the Parties, Tobacco Control Act, etc..., our present government under the leadership of His Excellency Lyonchen Jigme Y. Thinley, the seasoned man with vision, have sacrificed a lot in making a young Bhutanese democracy vibrant, transparent and dynamic. Everything they did was for the interest of the country and its people, but the minute flaws aroused when the supreme law of the country, The Constitution did not permit what they thought to execute. The views of Opposition were never against the view of Government but were against the procedures the government intended to follow. So, in the mind of our Bhutanese, there is always a pride and appreciation for what the government did.
Aiming to Soar higher, the Cranes.

However most of the major projects initiated by the present government won’t be able to complete within the limited five year plan so to further boast the developmental activities and satiate the citizens, for sure, our honourable MPs of the present government would be mentally preparing for the next election. Their effort to clear the financial debt of the party by enormous contribution itself is one such indication.

Besides, looking into the rumours that are afloat in forum indexes, it is apparent that few more present government secretaries will join the already experienced lot of DPT MPs in the next election. If ever the rumour holds true, Dr. Gado Tsherings resignation from the post of Health Secretary on moral backgrounds, when he have more than four years to hold the post, is nothing but a preparation for election in 2013. The list further stretches with Dasho Kinley Dorji, Information Secretary, Education Secretary Aum Sangay Zam and Economic Affairs Secretary Dasho Sonam Tshering, (information based on the forum discussions @ bhutantimes.bt). So if ever this rumours turn out to be true, then for sure, few current MPs of the DPT will have to fight for party ticket with the new comers.

This would mean further strengthening the capability of the MPs of DPT because, when the next round of election comes into force, the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa will already have 11 ex-ministers and a Speaker, who by then will have ample of experience in carrying out the democratic moves and developmental activities in the country. As a saying goes "as rare as trees without warts are men without weaknesses" they being the first democratically elected government and system being new, mistakes are something which is not inevitable but for sure, the government will learn from the mistakes they have done during this tenure and will persuade the people about their strategic plans ahead.
Yet it is time for the citizens as well to prepare themselves for the next round of election and make the best choice from the two old titans to avoid hue and cry later. Under the benevolent guidance of His Majesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, lets pray that the democracy in Bhutan shall remain vibrant and transparent and the citizens shall not be torn apart due to party indifferences as “We are a small family of Bhutanese but a family that has a common goals and aspirations” as said by K5.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Political Parties Gearing for the 2013 Race- Part II


 PDP comeback- Present Governments weakness, an Advantage for PDP in next election-

Now with both the parties either having cleared or initiated to clear their debts, soon they will be preparing for the next round of elections in 2013. It is already reported that the People's Democratic Party is planning a major comeback with many of its 2008 candidates contesting the 2013 election. Having suffered a crushing defeat in the 2008 elections, for sure the PDP would be strengthening, either to form a government in 2013 or to become a stronger opposition with more than two members. 

Hon'ble Leader of Opposition: drukpa.bt
In 2008 many seasoned bureaucrats who sacrificed their good jobs and joined People's Democratic Party with the motive to serve the people but almost all lost to their opponents from DPT, which was lead by experienced five ex-ministers. The President of PDP, Lyonpo Sangay Nidup too lost the seat in his constituency to the young teacher representing the DPT. 

Despite having only two members in the opposition, they have played a significant role in correcting the government when it went wrong. When it comes to passing the bills and acts by voting, it always went in favour of the ruling party because even if 25% of the members of ruling party are to support the views of opposition, it will not make a difference in decision making in the lone upper house. But there is a lot of satisfaction in the minds of concerned citizens, by the way the two opposition members strived. People outpoured their sympathy and gratitude for the world’s smallest opposition for carrying out their democratic rights relentlessly. So felt the need for a stronger opposition with more members and the citizens will definitely fulfil this realization.

Besides when people saw flaws in the way government take decision, many felt that they have taken a wrong decision by voting the present government into power. 
The prominent examples being the passing of the controversial ConstituencyDevelopment Grant by the National Assembly though it was strongly objected by the National Council, calling it unconstitutional, faulty, and ambiguous. My view regarding the CDG is also that, it doesn't justify equity because Nu. 2 M for each MP means unequal distribution of a huge sum among the 205 gewogs. While few MPs have to share the sum among just two gewogs, others have to manage it for the welfare of as many as seven gewogs.

The next big mistake that government committed was formulating taxation structure without going through the Legislative process as required by the Constitution. On this matter the Opposition Leader took the government to the court and verdict of first ever Constitutional case went in favour of the opposition. This further weakened the faith of people in the way government functions.  
Source: Bhutan Observer

The most recent objection the government facing is the Tobacco Control Act, which many people term draconian. More ironic when the first victim happened to be a monk who was caught with tobacco worth Nu. 120 who was then followed by many more, only to get themselves locked behind the bars for the maximum duration of three years. Many educated lots were of the opinion that the term of imprisonment is too stiff and that the Act be amended but nothing has happened as of now. Thus, the Tobacco Control Act, which was enacted with a noble intention of reducing tobacco consumption on the land flourished with Buddhist doctrine, is facing lots of resistivity from public only because the process of its enactment was not in consultation with the common people.  

The latest case of Gyalpozhing Land scam has brought many heads of government including the Prime Minister and the Speaker of National Assembly into the limelight of corrupt practices in the past. This further added fuel to the already heated group of the society, who are aspiring for a change to happen in the system of governance. 

So be it in the social media like facebook or on online forums, many express their dissatisfaction on the way the present government functions. Backing up the way two opposition members performed so far in keeping the government on tract, will Peoples Democratic Party receive the major support in the next coming election? Will the weakness exhibited by the present ruling government who were brought to power with nationwide support from public drastically loss the faith of people in them and give its way to PDP in the next election? Or the citizens will bring into power PDP in the next election to experience a different taste?  

Until then PDP will have to adopt striking strategy to make a dramatic comeback in 2013.

                                                                                                              .....to be continued..,

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Political Parties Gearing for the 2013 Race - Part I

 Clearing the Debt-

With the term of first democratically elected government already crossed the mid way and as it nears its completion, more or less the politicians and those who are interested in politics seems to be preparing for the next election in 2013. 

Having to clear all the financial liabilities of the political parties by June 2012, as directed by Election Commission of Bhutan, both the ruling party and opposition party with the spirit of starting their campaign afresh, are finding ways and means to clear their huge debts incurred to them during the first general election held in 2008. The two parties without realizing the current state of chaos in clearing the debts, had spent money lavishly in 2008 which is why both the parties have a debt of more than 20 million with banks or various sources as of now.

The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) Parliament members, besides contributing 10% their monthly salary to keep the party functioning, have finally resorted to borrowing additionally in order to clear their financial debt of Nu. 20 M. It is reported that the ministers and MPs borrowed some Nu. 100,000 to 200,000 from the National Pension and Provident Fund and other sources to clear their debt with Bank of Bhutan. The remaining debt, they intend to clear by collecting membership fees and voluntary contributions by the members. 

Following the ruling party, the Opposition Party too reportedly, is finding the ways to clear of their debt of Nu. 20 M to their former party president and an additional Nu 3.8 million to printing and media houses. The party aims to clear the debt by collecting money via three sources - registration fees of members, annual membership fees of registered members, and voluntary contribution by registered members. But with the meagre sum of Nu. 5 for new member registration in the party as of now, it’s obviously going to be difficult to collect a good sum unless the dedicated members voluntarily contribute a good amount to the party.

The Journalist
Though both the parties faced lots of financial instability, the opposition objected the State Funding of political parties, which the ruling party desired to adopt, terming it unconstitutional. But looking critically the state is already supporting the parties with enough fund. The National Council of Bhutan also decided no to the state funding for the two political parties stating it is unconstitutional.  The parties, I fell, will need a good sum of money when they are campaigning for the election and familiarizing with the commoners at grassroot level but for that purpose the Election Commission of Bhutan are giving the required fund. Besides our local government candidates doesn't get a single penny from the ECB but still they successfully carry out their campaigns and other meetings so if the state is to give fund to the party separately, why not the local government candidates also get a small share for their campaigns and all?

However, despite repeated discussions on the provision of state funding, yet it still remained just as a "monkey business" impasse as pointed out by The Journalist. In the case if the state is to provide state funding to the parties, it is clear that a huge amount will finish up for the welfare of the parties than for meeting the needs of the our people. Because already, the state have to pay a good package which the MPs demand as their salary and for other amenities like Prado’s, Housing, et al.
One way or the other, It seems that politics is a money game, be it in a corrupt society or in corruption free country.

Now with their past experience with regards to financial problems, will the existing parties learn a lesson from it and adopt new strategy to make the best use of their limited money resource in the next election? Or will they try and look for various other sources for revenue? Will this issue of financial crisis in party caution the new parties if any, for contesting in the next primary election? But they might be all mentally prepared to face the situation with bravery when it rocks the cradle in 2013.

                                                                                                       ..... to be continued..,

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Simile of Karmic Bond.

Gangkar Puensum: google images

Majestic and immaculate
 Firmly rest the pristine Gangkar Puensum.
Shrouded in the thicket of whitish wool,
It is in its splendid nature
The Snow Lion longed to inhabit in peace.

When from the east
The golden rays strike the crystalline castle,
Drop by drop, a mighty lake is formed,
To pour down in perpetuity,
Rivers draining the land of Thunder Dragon.

With the lonely peak, left the lonely lion
With sweats of sadness drenching its mane
But with miracle, the lion transformed
Into a silver fish to swim along the tides of river;
There is no bar and boundary in love.

Owing to the karmic connection,
Together they united body and soul.
Thus, today, we sing the songs with simile;
Lion in the snow and fish in the river
To express the karmic bond between each other.

painting of Snow Lion.

Gangkar Puensum: At 7561 m above sea level, Gangkar Puensum is the highest mountain in Bhutan; the 40th highest mountain in the world; and the highest unclimbed mountain in the world.

Snow Lion: I am not sure whether such lion exist in the snowcapped mountains but be it traditional folk song or modern lyrics, we occasionally come across simile relating the love between white lion and snow capped mountains. However, white lions are very common in Bhutanese traditional arts and we see many such paintings of white lion on the walls of buildings. So for sure there might be a myth or even truth behind the existence of such white lions. Kindly share with us if our readers have any idea about myth behind White Lion.

P.S:  Idea of the poem is conceived from the Bhutanese song “Gangkar.”

Friday, 19 August 2011

Gangkar Puensum and Three Rivers.

In the past, the farmers of Bumthang were envious of those living in the valley of Mangde and Kurtoe because those two valleys besides having many hilly terrains, they managed to built beautiful terraces and grow paddy. But the poor Bumthaps, despite having a beautiful valley with nearly plain topography, they could not grow paddy which is why they mainly feed on the cuisines made from flour made from wheat, buckwheat, barley etc.., but the reason is obvious as the legends says as follows:
Gankar Puensum: google images

Long ago at Gangkar Puensum, literarily meaning “White Peak of the Three Spiritual Brothers ", (the Highest Mountain in Bhutan @ 7561 m), three lakes were also blessed beneath each brothers from almighty. The lakes being the blessing from above have more roles to play for the wellbeing of the sentient beings so the three brothers planned what they have to do for the dwellers in Drukyul.
One evening the three brother peaks, after gazing down towards the lush valleys of Bhutan, they unanimously decided to flow as three rivers from the three lakes to drain the valley and turn them fertile so that the dwellers can have a bountiful reap annually. But a conflict arose among the three brothers while they were discussing about the path they were to follow. The three brothers could not conclude on following the same track, as this would mean lesser credit for the ones that flow latter.
Calm Chamkhar Chhu : google

So the three before going to sleep that evening came to an agreement that they will take their own route the following morning and compete a race. They also agreed that they will meet at a common point after draining the valleys and the condition was that the valleys drained by the first and second rivers would reap paddy, the main staple food of Bhutan while the valley drained by the third river will reap only the common cereals and not rice. The term was agreeable to all the three brothers. However, none of the three mentioned about the timing at which the race should began.

The next morning, before the dawn cracked the eldest brother was awake. Instead of awakening his two little brothers, he silently woke up and flowed down the mountains to enter the valley of Drukyul. Fearing that his noise would awake the two other brothers, he selected the most comfortable routes and flowed slowly without making much noise. But his speed being slow he could not reach the destination at the earliest despite taking the plain through the valley Bumthang. This is also one reason why Chamkhar Chhu flow without making much noise.
Mangde Chhu : google

When the second eldest brother was awake, he found that their eldest brother has already left. So not knowing how far his brother has reached down the valley, he also started flowing down taking the comfortable routes at a faster speed with little splashes. He was also so mean to awake his little brother. He then penetrated through the valley of Trongsa. It is said that Mangde Chhu flow swifter and much noisier than Chamkhar Chhu.

When the youngest brother was awake, it was already late in the morning but when he turned around to awaken his two brothers, he found both of them gone. Therefore, without thinking much about the trials and tribulations he would encounter, he started his journey with high speed and started flowing through any type of terrain so fiercely be it jungles or cliffs. The river ferociously and noisily drained the valley of Lhuentse and it is known as Kuri Chhu.
Kuri Chhu : google

When Chamkhar Chhu finally finished its route through the plains of Bumthang, with great relieve it flowed down thinking that he is the first to complete the race but then he found the trails of Drangme Chhu before him. There was nothing he could do then join his brother for the journey ahead. Thus, Chamkhar Chhu lost to Mangde Chhu in the race. Mangde Chhu was relieved that at least he could bless the valley he has drained with paddy. The two brothers then turbulently flowed downwards only to discover that their youngest brother has already gone ahead of them. After catching the youngest brother, the three siblings however joyously proceeded their journey forming the mighty Manas through the Indian plains to reach the oceans.

This is how the youngest brother won the race followed by second brother and this is the rationale why Bumthng valley does not grow rice despite having fertile plain valleys. The two valleys of Trongsa and Lhuentse grow paddy. The unity among the Bhutanese can also related to the fact that the three rivers flowed further together all in one forgetting about who won and who lost the race.

But no worry, global warming has already helped Bumthang grow paddy.  The sad thing is that the peak of Gangkar Puensum is prone to wither day by day unless precautionary measures are taken before hand by the dwellers, who are reaping the blessings of Gangkar Puensum one way or the other.

Another myth says that when these three rivers (Kuri Chhu, Chamkhar Chhu, and the Mangde Chhu) made their first descent from the glacial lakes of Gangkar Puensum, they proposed to have a race. While the other two rivers entered into the race the Chamkhar Chhu showed lack of interest in such a race and asked the other two to go ahead, saying that he would follow them at his own leisurely pace.  This is the reason why the Bumthang Valley is being blessed with a wide and calm expanse, while the Trongsa and Lhuentse Valleys are steep and narrow. 

P.S: This is a folklore, which I heard some ten years ago so it might contain some mistakes, or I might have told from a different angle. Kindly bear with it and share with us if you have any similar myths about this content of the story. 
Besides Gangkar Puensum is also a commonly used simile in Bhutanese songs be it traditional folk or modern lyrics. See more in the succeeding posts. 

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Missing You Desperately. :)

Though you are millions of miles away from me, yet you keep my spirit glowing. Without you, my world is a complete darkness though I have other amenities to comfort my life in aplenty. I never knew I would miss you desperately and attach with you so emotionally though you and me never did encounter face to face and cuddle with each other before. The moments I saw you shining brightly with your ability to glisten this world was at a distant and it remains as a mere image. I wish to come closer to you and embrace you affectionately but distance is the bar.

I am sure many people will admire you and miss you dreadfully owing to your generous heart to keep them warm and their days bright but I bet everybody will blame you when you tend to act little harsh. Its human tendency to put blame to others for minute mistakes without appreciating the true essence. Nevertheless, not me, I will never blame you in my life how excessively you burn me.  Rather I would request the clouds to send little drizzles so as to keep you temperate forever with a beautiful rainbow encircling you. When the clouds (troubles) tend to increase around you, which would shower a pain of storms, I would request the gentle breeze to kindly sweep the tribulations shrouding your way. 

Days come and go and so does the Weeks. Yesterday, I could not meet you despite waiting for you eagerly and today the clouds of ignorance blocked our linkage. But I am sure we can meet tomorrow and erase the pain of loneliness in me because moments of loneliness make me miss you every moment. After all, life is never a bed of roses so I should also accept some pains in my life though. But I want to request you to kindly come in my life sooner than later. I wish that one day, I get to hold your hand and never let you go but it is you who can turn this simple dream of mine into reality. 

Though it is lucky for the paddy cultivators this years, the incessant rain for more than ten days make my cloths stink. I washed a handful of cloths yesterday but still it is not dried. Lots of filthy flies are sheltering on my cloths which I hanged on the verandah and they pee on them. Today morning when I woke up I saw water spilled over the floor of my room and to my surprise it was due to seepage of the ceiling above. Since I reside on the top floor now the shallow cemented roofs have started giving its way to the molecules of water. 

When the storm and rain combines turbulently, power supply is cut off and I am to spent dark nights listening to the deceitful songs of mosquitoes. And when there is no power, we have no water, as water is pumped by electric motor. And without water, consequently there is no food, though water is plenty outside. without food, there is no thought and idly I end up sleeping in the room because going out meant drenching in the muddy rain.

So I am missing you desperately. Oh Sun, please shine for our welfare. :)

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Leave me Not for I cannot Live Without you- English Version.

On my Dzongkha post, the previous week, Anu (A blogger friend) commented as follows: 
"hmmmmm....no clue what it is leo...there is no online translator available for Dzongkha SOB SOB SOB :( "
So here comes  my rough translation of the Dzongkha post. Hope Anu will get the message contained in the Dzongkha Poem. 'Nothing emotional, Just Sensational'


In the graceful lawn
Bloomed a glistening flower.
The tiresome bee,
Far from the distant land,
Is destined to buzz
And descend on the beauteous petals.

When during the summer days
The sun shines ablaze,
The fresh and sweet nectar
Quenches the thirst of dying bee.
Without you, oh my beauteous flower!
My hum would fade without any essence.

In the temperate meadow
Grew a tree with bountiful fruits.
Amid your lushly leaves
I, the nightingale shall rest,
For I toured the world with endless flights,
Until destiny compelled me to land upon you.

Your beautiful crown,
Let not the breeze break it off
And your firm roots,
Let not the water erode away.
Without you, Oh my elegant tree!
My life is prone to prey.

In the hamlet of eternal bliss,
I encountered you,
A uniquely beautiful angel.
You enticed my soul
And it is my karmic fate,
For I loved you at first sight.

With circumstances,
Alter not, your heartfelt thoughts.
Without you, Oh my stunning damsel!
I suffer insomnia and cuisines seem insipid.
So leave me not
For I cannot live without you.


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Irresponsible Dumping of Wastage- The Most Significant Environmental Problem in Bhutan.

Bhutanese enjoyed a serene and healthy environment and lived in close harmony with the natural environment since time immemorable. From the snow-capped mountains in the alpine north to the massive plains of subtropics in southern foothills, Bhutan have undisturbed and pristine natural environment, within which dwells the inhabitants adhered towards their way of living steeped in Buddhist tradition and culture. However, with the passage of time, the way of living changes and these calls for modern development to meet the necessities and comforts of our people but ironically, we are to face problems of environmental instability and pollution, due to waste mounting.
How long should such an act continue???

Solid waste can be defined as material that no longer has any value to the person who is responsible for it, and is not intended to be discharged through a pipe. It is generated by domestic, commercial, industrial, healthcare, agricultural and mineral extraction activities and accumulates in streets and public places (NSAP, ISWM 2007). But fatefully one way or the other, these solid wastes and other non solids wastes from various sources goes into our pristine environment. Environment in the context of science is defined as the sum of all physical, chemical, biotic and cultural factors that affect life of the organism in any way. Therefore, the environment constitutes the land on which we dwell, the air we breathe, the water we drink, et al. The major environmental problems that we face today are the pollution of air, water and soil, the effect of which is devastating and perilous. While there are many factors which causes environmental degradation and related problems, the irresponsible dumping of wastage is seen as one of the most significant environmental problems in Bhutan. 

Causes and Sources of Waste:
Bhutan just a decade or two ago, did not face much waste problems but in the recent years, we could see and sense the consequences of mounting waste in most of the urban areas and even in rural villages. This makes us think why there was a drastic increase in the wastage (Bio degradable and non-degradable). Following are some of the factors that lead to the increasing of wastage.
  1.  Increase in Population: Population explosion is one of the major problems that lead to the increase in waste in our country. The increased population calls for the need of more resources and consequently more wastage. Though wastage is minimal in our rural areas, the urban areas like Thimphu and Phuentsholing face lots of problem in proper management of waste. As for the case of Thimpu, it generates about 10 tons/day (UNEP 2001a). These urban areas are seen with sprawling settlements mainly due to rural urban migration. The population growth rate is estimated between 7-10% per annum (ADB) in these urban centres. Sewage is one of the serious wastage that causes considerable pollution to our environment. 
  2. Urbanization: The urban areas are expanding very fast and many construction works are happening every year, to accommodate the ever-increasing pressure of population and other infrastructure. This demand more supply of raw materials but due to inefficient utility, many goes as solid waste (metals and plastic). Moreover, every citizen looks for the comforts of living so there are considerable wastage from the automobiles and other electronic gadgets.
  3. Industrialization: In order to boast the economy and create employment opportunities, and produce self-sufficiency in basic commodities, the nation calls for the boasting of industries. Industrial development is fairly new in Bhutan. The total number of industries increased by 34% from 2001 to 2005 (Country Inventory Reports 2008). Most of the existing industries were established within the past ten years or so but each produce considerable wastage. Health and Medical Waste, Food and Beverage Processing Industries, Wood, Metal, and Mineral processing industries, Automobile workshops, Textile industries including polythene based industries, Gas industries.
Irresponsible Waste Disposal:
With a huge quantity of wastes produced annually, Bhutan is faced with problems of disposal of the wastes. Though the biodegradable wastage from the homes can be disposed safely in smaller quantity, Bhutan does not have a single scientific landfill site to dump the lump of wastage that a city produces. Besides the government does not have proper Waste Management Strategy until 2007. The only document that gives any kind of guidance on handling hazardous wastes is the Environmental Codes of Practice for Hazardous Waste Management produced by NEC in 2002, which is also not strictly adhered. Therefore, this leads to the disastrous method of dumping the wastes in the natural environment, causing considerable threat to the fragile ecosystem and society. So it’s clear that poor government policy and response, lack of political will, lack of appropriate economic and human resources, and weak local institutions result in poor waste management. Meanwhile LACK OF CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY of urban residents is also a major cause o irresponsible dumping.

Impact of Waste on Environment:
The impact of such method of waste disposal is huge on the environment. Our fragile mountain ecosystem is prone to perish if proper tactic is not applied in managing the waste. The wastage from the automobile works and major industries, agricultural discharges and sewages and other wastes, which are directly poured into free flowing rivers, pollutes the water increases the Biological Oxygen Demand, causing death to the aquatic lives and rendering the water unfit for drinking. The industrial chimney wastes, the automobile exhausts, the other gases from different sources and gadgets cause air pollution. We experience warmer weather annually which is attributed to global warming is caused by environmental degradation and increased air pollution. Various nondegradable wastes like plastics, rubbers, iron rods, etc. which are disposed elsewhere remains for long time in soil depleting the fertility and causing threat to microorganisms. This environmental problems leads to other problems:
i. Health:  Deteriorating environment conditions are a major factor in poor human health and quality of life. Polluted waterways make communities more vulnerable to water-borne diseases and soil contamination can affect both the quality of food and its resistance to disease. Toxins released into the air contribute to air pollution and result in human respiratory diseases, especially in urban areas. In addition, items such as glass can be hazardous to the safety of humans and animals alike. 
ii. Economy: Poor environmental conditions affect the economy in many ways, including decreased food production, poor animal health and reduced tourism opportunities. There are instances where some tourists pointed out that if there is one thing that tarnishes the Bhutan’s Shangri-La image, it is waste. The unfriendly environment means less attraction for our highly valued tourists and this would really hamper the economy of the country.
Such serene vales should never become a story of the past.

Preventive Policies:
UNEP promotes preventive policies among policy makers and industry through initiatives on sustainable urbanization, health and environment, education, environment and livelihood security and waste management, including e-waste. The Royal Government of Bhutan then requested assistance for the formulation of a National Strategy on Integrated Solid Waste Management which is why we have the National Strategy and Action Plan, Integrated Solid Waste Management, 2007 owing to the supports from UNEP and the RRC.AP.
The National Strategy on Integrated Solid Waste Management outlines how all waste that may have a negative impact on public health and the environment can be removed regularly and in an affordable way so as to protect the environment, safeguard public health, reach sustainability. The main focus in the Nationa Strtegy has been set on:
  • ensuring that waste producers become responsible
  •  addressing the root cause by reducing waste to a minimum 
  • gaining control over waste related pollution
  • and establishing a well trained work force.
Besides Public participation, Community Mobilization Program, and Capacity Building Program has been considered as the underlying principle for all implementation activities.

Now having known the factors responsible for waste generation and shortcomings in its management, the consequences of odd mode of waste disposal, it’s high time that every citizen of the nation join hands together in combating the waste management and sustain our environment. Bhutan being a developing country categorized under LDC, cannot afford to adopt and transfer of the technologies from the developed countries in waste management. But we Bhutanese possess a sacred value of mutual understanding and cooperation. Now  it’s high time we re-inculcate these values in our thoughts and try reduce our own wastes in first hand and then join the government in implementing the new waste management strategies so as to foster the spiritualism and love towards our pristine environment, which is nations greatest asset. We the concerned citizens should promote and practice 3R methodology of Recycle, Reuse, and Reduction of wastes and if we can at least plant a tree. Let us retain our nation’s reputation of clean and green country until eternity. 

  • ADB: Asian Development Bank. 
  • ISWM: Integrated Solid Waste Management. 
  • LDC: Least Developed Country
  • NSAP: National Strategy & Action Plan. 
  • NEC: National Environment Commission 
  • RRC.AP: Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific 
  • UNEP: United Nations Environment Programme,

  1. Yangzom, Karma. Managing Hazardous Wastes, RETA 6361 (REG), INVENTORY REPORT, BHUTAN.
  2. National Strategy & Action Plan, Integrated Solid Waste Management 2007, Bhutan.
  3. C. Visvanathan and Ulrich Glawe, Domestic Solid Waste Management in South Asian Countries – A Comparative Analysis.
  4. Miscellaneous notes and info’s.