Thursday, August 18, 2022

The Bully On The Loose

Clearly the officials at the Thimphu Thromde (Thimphu City Corporation) seem to have lost their marbles. Failing that they are clueless as to why they want, or think they can, implement the rule of the color of roof paint.

Thimphu city: The bully rules the roost

First off, do they have the authority to impose such selective rules and regulations, as they fancy? I think the country does have a building and construction standards or codes. Is the matter relating to roofing colors a requirement specified in the standards? If not, what makes Thimphu Thromde think that they can impose their out-of-turn will as they choose? Isn't it necessary that such rules need to be passed by competent authorities, before they can be implemented?

Second, what is the rationale behind the choice of the colors red and green? What are the underlying considerations for the choice of these two colors?

Third, are there economic reasons for choosing these two colors, over others? Do they reflect heat so that the rooms under the roofs remain cool - translating into lower cost of cooling. Or, do the colors red and green absorb heat so that they provide greater warmth - resulting in lower heating cost? Even if there were, the homeowners have the right to decide what they want – aesthetics over economy or, vv.

Fourth, is the choice of paint based on some environmental considerations for the reason for which these colors are chosen over few thousand shades of other colors? We agree that dark colors reflect less heat into the atmosphere. Is that the reason? And, by the way, what shades of red and green?

Fifth, do the homeowners have a right of choice - as to what color they want to paint their roofs and homes, constructed with their own private money? Or have they forfeited that right and surrendered it to Thimphu Thromde?

Or, since the Thromde wants it – are they going to pay for the paint job? But even if they do pay, will the homeowners agree to a color choice that they do not fancy?

Sixth, today the construction industry of which the largest number is comprised of private homeowners, account for the highest cases of NPLs. Brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic activity in the country has been ground to a halt. The homeowners have a hard time repaying their loans and are forced to seek deferment of loan repayments. During such taxing times, the Thromde wants to add to their woe, by seeking to add to their financial burden?

Is this Thimphu Thromde’s contribution to the transformation exercise that is currently underway? If it is, I think we need to point out to them that this kind of transformation is something we do not need. It is NOT transformative – it is regressive!

In my view, other then the color yellow which has conventionally been associated with Dzongs and Lhakhangs – citizens should have the choice of what color they want to paint their roofs and walls.


  1. I agree with you, The Thimphu Thromde is taking out the rules and regulations without rhyme or reason. It is failing in its core services and diverting attention. The failings of Thimphu Thromde are too many ... the roads are full of potholes, street lights not working, whenever it rains - drains overflow, sewer overflow and puddles are formed in very badly designed roads, street names are either not put or not maintained, bus stops have no coverings or are at dangerous turns, naked and haphazard hanging power, telephone and TV lines in spite of underground infrastructure developed by World Bank or ADB loans, under carriage crossings are not maintained, lack of public toilets, badly maintained a single town library, inadequate parking space, irregular water supply, lack of public space/gardens/parks, etc...
    Wake up and do the necessary instead of developing roof color rules and threatening people with fines.

  2. You could do a story on Thimphu City Corporation TCC taking huge ADB and WB loans for LAP where a sizeable amount is spent of development of underground infrastructure - for laying power cables, telephone cables, TV lines, water liners and sewer lines. Right in the middle of the roads you see these joint boxes some even without covers, some with so uneven covers that while driving you always get a thud, etc but these are all empty for more than a decade. I am not sure if these underground facilities are usable now.The electricity, telephone and TV lines criss-cross our skylines and the poles are so grotesquely bent and some times smack right in the middle of the footpath. The foot path suddenly disappearing or reducing in size is an another story you can do justice with your excellent photography skills. The drains on the sides have no proper gradient and when the cross from one side to the other, the cement covers or the grills are so badly designed and maintained. Some times I feel our Thromde people compete to see who can do a shoddier job.
    I heard you stay in Dechencholing town, just step out with your camera and do a visual story. I think this will have more effect.
    Also there is a driving school in your Deling town without any grounds but use the public space around the main garden to practice driving which is dangerous to the residents. How they got RSTA approval and Thromde approval may be interesting (smells of corruption)