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Bhutan on a cleanliness drive for SAARC summit

Mar 17, 2010

For the upcoming SAARC summit, Thimphu City Corporation with the help of volunteers and support from Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry has started a campaign to make the city cleaner and greener. However involving the public is the best way to keep the city clean, argue volunteers.

Bhutan: Thimphu city will be a lot cleaner and greener by late April with the Thimphu city corporation (TCC) already on a mass cleaning campaign as Bhutan prepares for the upcoming 16th SAARC summit.

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About 3,000 volunteers, equipped with masks, gloves and sticks, cleaned the main town area and vegetable market area in the third phase of the campaign on Saturday. By the end of the day, they collected about seven metric tonnes of garbage, according to city officials.

The campaign will be conducted every Saturday until April 17. Officials say that, on April 17, there will be a mega mass cleaning campaign. The campaign will cover almost all corners of the city. For better coverage, TCC has divided the city into zones. From Dechenchholing in the north to Babesa in the south, all the settlement areas were divided into six zones, which will be cleaned by April end.

A TCC official, Ganesh Gurung, said that Thimphu residents were very cooperative and coming forward to participate in the campaign. The Bhutan chamber of commerce and industries has enthusiastically backed the cleaning campaign, by involving all the business people, which made our work a lot lighter, said Ganesh Gurung.

Ganesh said that flower plantation work is also going on. Flowers have been brought from all over the country. Meanwhile, TCC is planning to continue such campaigns from time to time, if the support from public remains the same and resources are available.

To keep the city clean, officials are also requesting residents to keep clean their surroundings and maintain the cleaned area. “All the hard work will go in vain if people don’t maintain the cleaned areas,” said an official.

Volunteers said that they would be happy to come forward if TCC organised such campaigns on a monthly basis. “Involving the public is the only means to control the mounting garbage and trash problem in the city,” said Ugyen Dorji, a grocery owner along the Norzin lam.

Many volunteers shared the same view. “Cleaning campaigns shouldn’t wait for big events to happen,” said one. “There should be educational drives to let people understand about having a clean and green city.”

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