It’s not a new thing to hear of communication gap between government Ministries, Departments and Agencies. Often information and data equally useful to one government organization but gathered by another is retained for reasons unknown. On the contrary, sharing of such information and data can help save huge expenses on the government exchequer.
We often come across government agencies functioning in isolation when synergy can be their call. But the question is when will they come together and function as one, targeting the welfare of our common people. It’s due to such isolation within government agencies that people end up running from post to pillar even for small and simple services.
The recent Pipla confiscation case in Samtse speaks volume on this. The forest product was seized by the officials of the Samtse Regional Revenue and Custom Office during their inspection to check groceries being taken out of the country in order to spend their Bhutan Currency.
The Pipla confiscation team however failed to include the forest officials who were not very far from the border check post. This resulted in escape of the culprit, the driver of the van. He escaped from being penalized under the Forest and Nature Conservation Rules, 2006 owing to the sole reason that RRCO officials didn’t inform the relevant officials.
The information didn’t reach the forest official even after a month. The RRCO official claimed they were not aware of what the seized product was. But why didn’t they try to find out what it was? Moreover, they waited for the directives from their superior in Thimphu on how to go about with disposal of the product.
The Nu. 37,500 worth of Pipla could have simply gone to waste and become unmarketable and commercially not viable, had it not been in its dried form while it spent a month’s time in the store.
Forest officials are surprised to know that the information took a snail’s pace to reach them. Interestingly, the RRCO and forest office function within a stone’s throw away from each other.
Had the information been traded in its immediacy the culprit would not have escaped and also the authorities would be made aware of such smuggling activities in the forests.
Forest officials are already in pursuit of the vehicle which ferried the illegal product.
The smuggler Anob Bansal, escaped without any penalties after he indulged in illegal business from the country.
At this time we are in need of a trained and tactful people to filter the product imported and exported from the country in order to make sure about the resources being not smuggled out of the country.
The writer is a reporter with The Bhutanese