Proactive planning

T he challenges that Bhutan is faced with are indeed daring, but rather than taking corrective measures, one cannot deny the fact that the government is taking proactive steps to mitigate the evils of development. For instance, air pollution. Though not of the proportion Indian metros like New Delhi are faced with, there is no time for complacency in Thimpu, one of the most congested cities in Bhutan (see box: Heavy air ).

"Sustainable livelihood is important but to do that without good governance is difficult. And in Bhutan, we have the necessary political will,' Seeta Giri . Sangay Wangchuk feels the same. "The realisation that conservation is necessary is backed by a lot of political will. This is why we are optimistic about maintaining it,' he says.

In order to make people actively participate in the development process, in 1981, the government of Bhutan set up district development committees ( dzongkhag yargay tshochung-dyt s) in all the 20 districts of the country. It comprised a total of 560 elected members, all of whom have important planning and programming respon-sibilities. Further, in 1991, block development com-mittees ( gewog yargay tshochung )