Rehab centers, building rules, drainage systems, loan collateral valuation and traffic police criticism

We need more rehab homes

We find that the cases of drug abuse and trafficking are showing no signs of abating.

Every other day, the media reports of young people being sent behind bars for possession, consumption or sale of controlled narcotic and psychotropic substances.

The Chukha dzongkhag court has so many such cases that some even call the court the highway court.

Office of the Attorney General received 500 drug- related cases last year alone. This number is alarming, as more individuals could be involved in one case. Some of them could be repeat offenders.

Imagine 500 people going to jail each year, and most of them being youth, what would happen to this land of happiness? Going at this rate, the future does not look so happy. Families are broken, more poor people drown into poverty. The impacts are devastating.

So then what can we do?

The police and BNCA are working hard in cutting the supply. Despite the high rate of success in apprehending those involved in trafficking, the number of cases seems to be increasing each year.

This could only mean one thing: the demand isn’t dropping. As a result, people are willing to take so much risk to supply the controlled substances because the return is so tempting. Establishing more rehabilitation centers is one of the best solutions to curb the demand. There are only about two today.

We have to definitely have more centers to treat those with addiction, take care of them and help them become productive citizens. Is the cost of setting up such centers higher than the worth of our kindred? Otherwise, there should be one center for each of the four regions. I look forward to the opening of such a center this year.

Kinley Dorji
(Published on August 13, 2018)

How far can we bend building rules?

I  write to seek clarification from the concerned authorities for it seems that we do not have a master plan of the city. Building height is increasing every year.
The basements and ground floors that were designed for car parking are converted into shops and warehouses. Footpaths are being encroached by building owners.

How much more do we bend the rules? It has already crossed the critical bent and I thing somebody has to do something before it actually brakes. If the experts think that Thimphu can have seven storied buildings, why do they stop others who build the buildings earlier? If the parking space is not required, why do they force the building owners to have that in their design?

Tenants are heavily taxed and the municipality is not bothered about their public. Forget about the private building owners, even the public buildings such as pension colony and national referral hospital have resorted to the same theory. The children play ground in Pension colony has been converted into buildings yet no questions are asked. The parking space in hospital is converted into a commercial space, and yet again nobody questioned these moves. I would like to inform the hospital authority that patients drive to the hospital for treatment while you drive there to do your job.

A worried citizen
(Published on August 14, 2018)

Thimphu’s drainage system

Right in the middle of the summer, many sections of Thimphu’s roads are as usual, riddled with potholes. Bad road condition is one of the causes of road accidents.

The problem of the poor road condition in Thimphu is made worse by heavy vehicles and negligence of drivers. We have 96,307 vehicles in the country, most of which are clustered in Thimphu city.

Thimphu Thromde is doing what it can to repair the potholes within its financial capacity. The quality of works on the roads is improving. The roads are being widened and more parking spaces have been created.

However, the drainage system leaves a lot to be desired. Ten minutes of some heavy rain and there is a heavy deluge.

One of the causes of potholes lies in the poor drainage system. Most of those potholes are caused by gravels and stones pushed to the road surface.

It is time we thought about constructing good drains. Maybe the government could allocate more funds to the thromde.

(Published on August 15, 2018)

Valuation verses clients in banks

The Banks provide loans to the construction sector, particularly the housing sector. They pump back public deposits into the market through commercialization and indirectly fulfill its social obligations by putting the public money into investment to meet the needs of the people in terms of business and housing.

However, it has become a challenging task for the banks to do realistic valuation/assessment of the physical progress of the construction when clients approach for loans.

Generally, clients wish to have their properties valued on a higher side than the actual assessment putting unnecessary pressures on the valuation committee.

Loans are assessed based on collateral, capacity for repayment as well as portfolio in the business and annual turnover. The banks also see whether clients are comfortable in the system as far as repayment assurance is concerned.

However, few clients remain discontented with the norms and throw allegations during the valuation. While carrying out loan assessment, the banks ensure full accountability and transparency to sanction loan as admissible/eligible under the prudential norms and procedures as laid down in the respective banks.

Should the clients default their loans and turn into non performing loans, it will have negative impact on the financial soundness of the financier. Besides, banks are managing public money and if anything fails in the system, it will have rippling effect on the country’s economy.

(Published on August 16, 2018)

Noise pollution

Thimphu City is getting noisier with the rise in population and other amenities around. In any developing nation, noise is a price of development but there are measures we could adopt to reduce the noise.

Today, there is no control over noise pollution. People don’t care about their neighborhood even during night hours. Most drayang are not equipped with soundproof walls and ceiling. Cars honk late into the night in residential colonies.

Concerned organizations must look into the matter and ensure compliance for before licensing entertainment centres.

(Published on August 17, 2018)

Unsatisfactory services of Thimphu Traffic Police

Our country is globally recognized as one of the countries that choose happiness over materials. Our country is also believed to be a peaceful country where all rules and orders are up to date. However, it is sad to see instances of injustice, inequality, favoritism and nepotism.

The rules may be the same for all but while implementing these rules; there are many cases where it appears that we have two to three rules all because of nepotism. For instance, there are some traffic police who impose fines or penalty on negligible matters without acceptance of any explanations. Some impose fines when we are waiting at a site where there are no traffic signs and symbols. We don’t have problems of imposing the fine if it is really ought to be. However, it is imposed only on those who are strangers to them. They don’t impose fines on those who are in the higher ranks and acquaintances. It is a nightmare to taxi drivers who are from humble background and do not have acquaintances in traffic police.

We taxi drivers would urge –

1. RSTA to subsidize the penalty as only the poor and weak drivers are penalized or fined

2. The penalty should be imposed to all without any bias.

3. Traffic Police to strictly carry out the Road Safety and Transport Authority’s Rules and Regulations and traffic rules.

(Published on August 18, 2018)

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