Sunday, September 29, 2013

Once beaten, never shy to get beaten twice

It goes deep down in our roots that Bhutanese are reluctant to learn from the mistakes we make. Once beaten, we are never shy to get beaten twice.
The Tala hydropower project colony which was built then to support the Tala Hydropower Project Construction remained empty after the completion of the project, let alone the ghost town, Gedu, which was built with the promising prospect of serving the project, enduring very few wayfarers after the project was completed. Had it not been for the Business school, God knows how the infrastructure would have been left empty. The amount of money spent on building the colony might have been very less compared to the cost incurred in building the hydro power, but it still projects the unnecessary spending.
New PHPA colony under construction

The kuensel issue, 28th September, 2013, has a story on the Bajothang town and that what will happen to the town when most of its tenants will shift to the new colony which is being constructed for the project people. Let’s not talk about how these projects have inflated the market, and also about how much the hydropower project is important for nation and its economy. The article here is solely on what will happen to the house owners who have a big invisible car parked in front of their house of whose value is decreasing daily? How will they repay the loans when, supposedly, their rich tenants move to their own colony which will have everything, right from the shopping center to the sporting facilities? Will the town on its own sustain like the small Gangthangka survived through the time? Of course Gangthangkha house owners then did not have any car parked in front of their building? Right now, I can only think of the house owners shifting their shops, if they own any, to the coming up new colony and take a rent in their shopping center that too if the project allow and repay the loan.
Bajothang town.  Courtesy:
The thing about Bajothang town moving towards the dangerous end should have been avoided. We already had an experience with Gedu, yet our officials missed on such a heavy concern. How can it be possible that the DPR preparation did not involve any Bhutanese experts? That’s a total bullshit, and if it’s true, the grave has been dug, it’s waiting for the end. Who do we held accountable for loses the town will be subjected to? And for the projects which would need serious and consistent infrastructure only during its construction need to build a colony on the extra expenses? And what will happen to these colonies when the project is completed? Will we have another college to rescue? And yes, talking about the college, the Education City comes to the picture. The supposedly international city, will it be able to attract the foreigners to come and study in Bhutan? And if it fails to sell its product to the projected masses, will it target the local students at much cheaper rate? And if it does, how will the private colleges get affected? Our country and population is too small for so many big things.

Perhaps none of the above situations will happen, supposing that my not-so-researched article is utterly wrong? But then, how do we know also about the governments after thoughts on the project sustainability as the information is very much private and not made public. Some Dorji and his friends know, but then they don’t care to educate the lesser minds like us.  We are already in such a delicate situation that the future seems to be burdened more with the unthinkable situations. Government encouraged people to build the town but never told about the guest who will build its own house. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Jobs, youth and cost of lifestyle

These days the job providers always claim that there are enough jobs for our unemployed youth and yet, our youth prefer to stay unemployed. It triggered me to kind of defend these youths who are left unemployed and kind of think why there are so many jobs that are rejected by the youth even though most of them are succumbing to the harsh realities of unemployment.
I got myself employed for a job in a consultancy till I decided what to do; whether to appear common civil service exam or start my career in private entrepreneurship. My boss who is an architect tells me on that particular day of my employment that these days the house rents have doubled, food expenditure has also doubled, fuel prices have also doubled, but on the other hand, architects fees have gone half. It struck me right up.
There was a point, in fact a strong one. The rise in the expenditure and the raise in salaries, never go equally. In Thimphu alone, one does not get a house for less than 8000 nu/month. For a simple person who is working in a company that manufactures furniture cannot afford a house of Nu.8000 with his meager salary of Nu.6000. The quality of life to be good and healthy would mean to have a proper space to cover one’s head, proper clothes, proper food and good facilities. Let alone about getting his kids into a proper school, or helping his aged parents with some money at the end of the month or during the annual puja, simple living standard is also beyond his ability. We live in a situation where job qualities do not match the living expenditure. House rents are like touching sky, and even then we have shortages of houses which would mean that the escalation in the rents would be unarguable in near future.
Let’s talk about government jobs. Firstly, whenever we have youth unemployment increasing so much, everyone stares at Labor Ministry, now perhaps more than that we might stare at our government as they promised 100 % employment. Every year thousands of graduates flock to Thimphu in search of jobs. Looking at the number of jobs created by government and private sectors, the job intake would mean that we are way short of the jobs which these graduates would take up proudly and enthusiastically. There are also situations, where students are sent outside to study some courses by RCSE and DAHE only to come back and find that there are no jobs suited for the course which s/he was sent to. Either the course is so hi-tech that government does not find the need of employing a person who has mastered in such a big course or the government has not been able to find the place where the studied education could be placed into use. Where do we blame?
Picture Courtesy- Bhutan
And there are youths who are trained in vocational training institutes, and yet we have foreigners working even in the construction of simple structures. At a glance, we might blame our youth for the pride that one cannot digest, but no one looks at the job quality like better salary, respectful environment. Today, even the most skilled carpenters have lost their jobs, it can be attributed to the change in the construction style, but still, for the required work, and our contractors prefer to get Mr. Kumar from Cooch Behar as he is less costly.
We live in an age where costs of needs are exceedingly higher than what we earn. And it seems like we really don’t have answer for these various implications which are the adverse affects of the development of the city. Today, government has stopped providing loans, and banks would dry up, more problems would follow. The ever tiring farming job which is not lucrative as working in a road side would be forced upon. We live in a ever changing age, and the ripple effect of the change is so strong to bear.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Bhutanese Bloggers e-conference

First of all thank you, Rekha Monger for actually giving one fun topic to write something in my blog after such a long time. I know I am guilty of not updating my blog for such a long time. And there are always some of you who have served as an inspiration to blog, who I like to thank once again.

 1. Why did you start blogging in the first place? And what’s the story behind your blog title?
 Well,  I have always liked writing and penning down my thoughts. What started as a mere interest ended myself initiating the literary programs in school, and for that matter, during my school days in Yebilaptsa Middle Secondary School, with the help of my literary club incharge, I was actively involved in publishing a weekly magazine. The money that we earned through it, we donated to the hospital. During my college days, to kill the boredom and a loneliness, I started taking refuge in the world concealed between the lines, and soon I discover that I can actually own an online diary where I can write my own story and let people read it.
My friend during a casual dinner, consoles me that there's always more to life, which would thus become title of my blog. He was right, life in fact has more than just loneliness, sadness, etc.

2. How long have you been blogging? Where are you based?
:It's been almost four years, and a wonderful experience of knowing many avid bloggers on the way. I am based in Thimphu, though i was in Delhi for three years of blogging age.
3. How do you schedule your blog post? Daily or weekly? Or as and when inspiration strikes you?
: Initially, i was determined to write weekly on mostly topics which concerned the everyday life, then i realised, forcing myself to write just because i want to update weekly, it's not good for my blog. I mostly end up coming with a simple topics and that it didnot really involve my full zest. It was like a forced love which is a false love.
These days, i have stopped though to write as often as i do, but with this rekindling and wake up call, i would try to write as and when something strikes and inspires me.
4. Does your family and friends know about your blog?
My friends and family know about my blog, and sadly, apart from my friends, my families have proved not-so-interested in reading or writing one. But my friends, some of them read my blog.

 I leave my friends to tag themselves. Happy Blogging and Happy reading