The City of Fines

The Thimphu Thromde has come up with a rash of heavy fines over the last two weeks for everything from parking on the footpath to the wrong colour of the roof.

The fines are not the typical Nu 500 or Nu 1,000 but Nu 5,000 to Nu 50,000.

These fines are decided and approved by the Thromde Tshogde which consist of elected Tshogpas and the Thrompon.

As an elected body representing the people of Thimphu Thromde, the first question to ask is if the Tshogde consulted the people on the fines and issues. The answer is no.

If one goes by the speeches and promises made by the elected members of the Tshogde during the Thromde elections, none of them promised to bring in such heavy fines and, so this is not even in keeping with their manifesto or their compact with voters.

There are several issues with a large organization like the Thimphu Thromde from water supply to drainage to pot holes.

The bulk of these issues have to do with poor planning, poor quality infrastructure, poor implementation, poor monitoring, lack of accountability, lack of transparency, corruption and collusion, capacity issues etc which are all to do with the Thromde.

If the Thromde really wants turn things around then it should first address these issues within its own organization.

However, these heavy fines show that the Thromde has decided to take the easy way out to blame the Thromde residents for all the problems, and throw heavy fines at them and hope everything will get resolved.

Under the principles of natural justice, fines have to be  just and reasonable, but the fines by the Thromde are neither and instead will break the bank for most residents who are anyhow hand to mouth, including even building owners paying heavy loans.

 The fines also do not make sense. As pointed out by experts, not long ago it was the Thromde which allowed kitchen and bathroom waste water to be connected to sewage pipes.

 Also it was the same Thromde in 2020 which through a notification authorized green, brown and red colours for private roofs, but now the order is for only green ones or a Nu 50,000 fine. This will not hold up in any court of law.

Instead of improving things the heavy fines give untrammeled and undemocratic powers to Thromde employees over residents. It may very well breed corruption and abuse of power.

Ironically, the thromde which is responsible and accountable for the problems and solutions in Thimphu will escape accountability and ordinary citizens will be left holding the buck.

Example is leadership.
Albert Schweitzer

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One comment

  1. The majority of the victims of this aggressive fines are not their voters!! So they are happy collecting fines without a fear of not getting re-elected.

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