Showing posts with label Lungtenzampa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lungtenzampa. Show all posts

31 May 2013

Jigme Couldn't Find Taxi From Thimphu

My son Jigme was rushing home from Paro this afternoon. He wanted to spend this election holiday with us at home. But he is stranded in Thimphu tonight because he couldn't find a taxi coming to Wangdue. The taxi he got into asked him Nu.450, almost 100% more than normal rate, and when he questioned the driver, he was told that all taxi charge same rate today. His repeated protest made the taxi driver change his mind and direction. The taxi politely threw out my boy and went to Paro.
I made the following request on Facebook (see picture) and only respond I got was to note the number of the taxi and file a formal complaint against it in RSTA office. 
It was not about my son alone, it was about the illegal fare hike going on and I thought RSTA will go there and catch them red handed, but it turned out that we have to follow procedures, which indirectly meant there is no heart in dealing with the problem. Like a friend on Facebook commented,
 "That is the problem we have la; even, if we file a formal complaint with veh. registration No., they will ask for evidence and will go on..."
This was a problem since my school days and I am shocked even during my children's time the same problem bothers our country. I am sure many desperate travellers during this election must have been harassed by these taxi drivers, which will make the very voting experience bitter. Now I know why Monggar election officer chose to hire private cars rather than taxis. 

14 December 2010

Country of many Bans

One question that kept bothering me: why did Bhutan ban tobacco? A smoking man doesn't sleep on the road. A smoking man doesn't assault his wife and children. A smoking man doesn't shout in the crowd and pee in his pants. A drunken man does. Why alcohol is not banned? Is it because we are a Buddhist county? Perhaps! But didn't we agree that our politics will be free of religious influence?

BBS Picture of Burning 2.4 M worth of Tobacco
World would be amazed to know that Bhutan has burnt million worth of tobacco. Some tourist would think Bhutan is so rich but many know that Bhutan survives on countless foreign loans and grants. Then they would wonder why we are acting foolish, Bhutan has banned tobacco but India didn't, it all came from India and we could easily sell it back and generate some funds to put some street lamps along Lungtenzampa Bridge.

Business Bhutan Picture 
National assembly wants to create the record of one ban each year and this time it's drayang. Social disharmony is taken hostage. The problem is not with the drayangs, it is with indecent men. And for such men it need not necessarily be drayang, they do it onto waitress in the hotels, doma sellers in bus stations, office colleagues and assistances, vegetable sellers, passengers sitting on the side and any girls walking along. Should we then go on banning Hotels, Offices, Vegetable Markets, Taxis and Buses? Or the better alternative is to ban women from coming out in public.

And the funniest part is Labour Minister's Promise of employing the girls. What about the boys? What about the fate of the businessmen who had invested everything on this business. Perhaps he should have given a minister's thought before making his first parliament promise, now he has hundreds of questions to answer on various forums and blogs as to what are his promises for the thousands of jobless youth.

09 December 2010

My Dream of Lungtenzampa Bridge

A bridge is a symbol of art, landmark of the city, an icon of development of a country. But what is Lungtenzampa Bridge? In the heart of Bhutan's capital city, where it should have been a beautiful bridge that could live up to the legend of the bridge of destiny lies a dumb-looking engineering blunder. 

It is not pleasing to look at, shapelessly huge and rough, giving an outline of a sleeping elephant seal. It is not friendly for pedestrians to cross and worse is when the summer rain dams up in its enormous depression right in the centre of the bridge. If Phajo Drogom Zhipo and Khandro Sonam Palden had this bridge between them then, they would have gone back rather.

Lungtenzampa- photo by Ugyen

18 Century Wangdue Bridge
Bhutan had built beautiful bridges way before London had the Tower Bridge (1894) or San Francisco had their Golden Gate (1937). We had built them without a piece of iron or a spade of cement.  Without even a drawing. We have history. But history only. Today France has Millau Bridge, South Korea has Banpo Bridge, Singapore has Henderson Waves, China has Hangzhou Bay Bridge, Brazil has Oliveira Bridge, Germany has Magdeburg Water Bridge… all masterpieces of their country's architects and all landmarks of their countries. But what do we have? Lungtenzampa Bridge? If Zhabdrung came back he would die of shame.

I dream to see a Bhutanese masterpiece stretch over the Wang chu one day, that is so beautiful that we are proud to step out of our car and walk over it in the evening, that is so unique that when the world sees it on TV or internet they know that it is in Bhutan, that is so intelligently built that there is way out for the rainwater and way across for people, that is so iconic that it changes the face of Thimphu.