Bhutan photo archives

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Check Bhutan Photo Archive created from the pictures taken by Brian Shaw and his wife Felicity Shaw from their annual/semi-annual visits to Bhutan since 1980. The archive was created as a common good to share with people of Bhutan and others who are interested in visually tracking the changes and development that have taken place in Bhutan since 1980


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The new East-West highway

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The Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay said the widening works of the East-West Highway is ahead of schedule and will be complete by the mid 2018.He said once complete the Nu 7 B road will be the prized possession of the country.The Prime Minister inspected the progress of the highway between Trashigang and Yadi in Monggar Thursday.


For a quick assessment of the widening works of the 500 kilometre highway, the Prime Minister and minister for works and human settlement, Dorji Choden took a chopper from Thimphu.

The DANTAK officials presented the work schedule and progress to the Prime Minister.Lyonpo Dorji Choden said since the road works are all about boulders and difficult landscapes, there are challenges. “Except for one or two all the contractors are working much ahead of the schedule.”

Over 40 contractors are currently working on the East-West Highway. Once complete, motorists are expected to reach Trashigang from Thimphu in 10 hours.


The Indian government is funding the highway widening.

Second LG elections historic

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Two women have been elected gups

LG: Tuesday’s local government (LG) elections saw a voter turnout of 55.8 percent. This is a slight decrease from 56.23 percent in the first LG elections.

Speaking at the post-election press conference in Thimphu yesterday, Chief Election Commissioner Chogyal Dago Rigdzin said the voter turnout was a good result. “The result in terms of election of women candidates is also good,” he said.

About 11 percent of the total elected candidates are women.

Nationwide, 224,460 out of the total of 402,149 registered voters cast votes.

The chief election commissioner described the elections as historic. “Despite some problems, the elections went smoothly with active participation of the electorates,” he said.

The names of all elected candidates were read out in the presence of media personnel and election officials.

A total of 1,423 candidates have been elected as gup, mangmi and gewog tshogpa, thrompon and thromde tshogpas and thromde ngotshabs. Out of the total, 432 had previously held elective posts in local governments.

The elections were called for a total of 1,477 constituencies.

However, there were no elections held in 41 chiwogs due to lack of candidates.

Gasa, Monggar and Pemagatshel dzongkhags did not get thromde ngotshab candidates.


Cellular phones in Bhutan

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As of June this year, close to 690,000 had subscribed SIM cards, taking Bhutan closer to 100 percent cellular subscribers. Records with Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority’s (BICMA) show mobile phone subscribers increased by almost 10,000 a year.

The first set of cell phones was introduced in Bhutan in 2003 with just about 2,255 users. Now, almost everyone in the country owns a cell phone.

BICMAs Chief Communication Officer, Wangay Dorji said initially they used 2G technology which allowed only two features; text messages and call. After launching 3G service in 2008 and also with the evolution of mobile handset, things have changed. We have moved from ordinary mobile phone to smart phone with more features. He said digital technology has enabled users to enjoy the benefits of internet.

Bhutan got internet in 1999 with dial-up service which had narrow band internet and low speed. People would wait hours to connect to the internet but now with change in technology things have changed. Also, with competitions we have moved from narrow band internet to broad band internet.Today, there are more than 500,000 internet subscribers.

Sonam Pem, Thimphu