Just as I was leaving my house for very long wished yearend vacation trip, I get a call from my staff. She cries on the phone saying that her son was killed in a road accident. I rushed to the accident site and see that a careless driver had run the truck over a helpless child. The family members and all people who witnessed the accident are left in trauma.

The family members of the truck driver are also caught in misfortune too. With their father and the only bread earner now muzzled up, there is a silent hoping that parents of the deceased child will show mercy and allow release with some “Negotiated Fine.”

Life is priceless. There is only one cause of life and countless causes of death. Yet, it can be negotiated and haggled like any other things. When someone dies in a family of your own people, neighbours and friends, we show solidarity. This is where community spirit helps in sharing the emotional and other burdens.

The death of four year old comes as a surprise to me because he was killed while playing in his own home courtyard. If he was killed on the highways or inside Phuentsholing city, I wouldn’t be surprised. Our children are no longer safe. In fact there is no place for children to play, so they are forced to use some part of the road to release their energy. Mammoth trucks with some 18 wheels move around with huge loads and make road even more unsafe. And worst still is the absence of safe pedestrian footpath. Whatever footpath was there earlier are now dug up and left incomplete.

The roads, water pipes and everything is dug up. Some roads, the ones leading to Kabraytar and Toorsa are worst than the riverbed. They have been there begging Phuentsholing City Corporation’s attention since Thrompon Pola’s time.

Bhutanese people are living outside Bhutan, being harassed everyday by the our so called neighbours. And yet, there is no sign of Phuentsholing coming up with enough accommodations. Millions are lost due to inefficiency of people and in red-tapeism but nothing ever comes up that would benefit people living in the society. In fact, it shocks me to see that Thromde people do not even have information about how many people are living outside. And that was confrimed during the last interview of the new Mayor of Phuentsholing by BBS.

I always thought that Mayor is responsible for city’s growth and development. It is this city that feeds other cities in Bhutan and it is this city which needs dressing up in development and not in DUST. This reason is enough reason to push for development.

Thrompon Pola belonged to another breed of bureaucrat but if we look at the new Mayor, it almost feels like he will need one time Yong-ra lay (recalling of spider) ceremony. In villages in eastern Bhutan, this BON ceremony is performed when people are left dumb due to trauma and other illness as a symbolic gesture of bringing back the conscience. It looks like Phuentsholing will have to request the Dratsang to perform one very soon or else I see little hope during this Mayor's tenure.


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