Skip to main content

The Prize and Price of a Town

The idea of having a town in the first place is to have steady development and progress in that locality. It is also understood that having a municipal authority is to ensure that we have adequate and required facilities and infrastructures in place for those who live and work there. But on the other hand, there is a heavy price that we pay to host a town. 
View of Babesa - Paddy fields playing host to concrete buildings 
If there is a thromde, the residents can expect better services in terms of clean drinking water supply, well maintained roads, improved medical centers staffed with adequate doctors and better telecommunications facilities to name a few. And then there is something called town planning. Planned towns are better run.
A Thromde Road: If this can happen in Thimphu, what about other towns?
Our experiences in the past have us believe that we lose so much to towns. We lose our fertile land. We lose our paddy fields. We lose our thick forest. Losing our fertile land to the developmental work is one thing and then there our goal of food self-sufficiency. Given that our fertile fields are turning into buildings and highways, our need to import food items will only grow. 
Leaking Water pipes: And we claim shortage of water supply?
In this part of the town - this is the capital city by the way - residents face water shortage on a continual basis. Some residents have to carry water from faraway places. And interestingly in some places water is left to flow in the drains. It seems water is sufficient for all in the capital only if we manage it properly. Some residents only get water during certain time of the day and it is inconvenient. Waste management is a serious issue. Public toilets are far and few and poorly managed, if at all.  
This is public toilet that belongs a temple in the heart of the town
Road is another issue here - there are only potholes and pool of water collected everywhere. And when we have many such District and satellite towns more and more farmers would leave their villages in the hope of more comfortable lives. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

When FIVE is more than FIVE HUNDRED

Bhutanese parents complain that our children are exposed to so much foreign content and that they might soon forget our own root. Some parents also feel that their children respond well and better to stories that have Bhutanese characters and places in them. That's why the need for more and better Bhutanese books in the market. And we have only a handful of people who are committed to making this happen although the financial return is almost none.  
Bhutan can boast of not many writers. Here writing or publishing aspect of writing is an expensive hobby. In the first place, it is difficult to convince people to publish their writings and many leave it before they are halfway. Publishing is a complicated process. But here it is even more complicated since our publishers are not publishers in the real sense of the term. They would only 'publish' (print) school textbooks and in that they are only being wise - averting risks to their businesses. 
Recently, the whole nation star…

We killed our Golden Goose

One of our most significant events this year is that of Bhutan’s exporting of eggs to India. A few years ago, we were importing them – in truckloads. This goes to show that we have the potential to grow and progress as a country, provided we put in a little more effort and work harder. Did you know, Bhutan today has 422,648 hens and produces 251,678 eggs a day? 
In July 2016, Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) banned the import of chilies from India reasoning that the laboratory tests conducted confirmed presence of pesticides. And right there was our opportunity to grow on our own. The news was like winning a lottery and it sure was a boon to many a Bhutanese chili growers, as they now had ready market san competition from cheap chilies from across the border.

Then came the ‘off season’. That is when the price of chilies unreasonably shot up as high as Nu. 300-400 per kg. It was unreasonable and daylight robbery, many people protested. And then people took to the …

Our Growing Opportunity

Last week, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest had ordered the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) to 'temporarily' suspend the import of beans and cauliflowers. Laboratory tests had confirmed that these vegetables contain pesticide beyond permitted 'limit'. 
This is heartening for many Bhutanese farmers. This is truly our opportunity to grow and feed Bhutanese with vegetables grown and nurtured on Bhutanese soil. It is an opportunity to go bigger into farming and turn farming into a financially lucrative venture for our rural farmers, who still continue to grow crops for self-consumption. 
Otherwise, it is difficult for our farmers to compete with literally cheap vegetables that are imported from across the border, where they are grown in much much bigger quantity. Our farmers do not stand a chance at all to compete in the market. Thus, they end up growing only what's enough for their own families - the rest go waste, most of the time. Sam…