Although I have trained as a surveyor as a part of my professional training and done many survey jobs, I find myself thoroughly confused whenever the surveyors survey the land. The technical aspects seem to be thoroughly mixed up with the bureaucratic aspects each one seeming to hinge on the other in a never concluding spiral.

Cadastral survey is a very simple concept based on a two-dimensional coordinate system. The important bits of information are the coordinates of the boundary corners that define your land and the acreage that falls within the boundary.

The NLC surveyors are technically competent enough. The hard work of calculating coordinates using manual calculations is now history with the use of total stations. Total stations are literally mini-computers that can calculate distances, slopes and angles instantaneously. Survey data can also be instantly downloaded to laptops and maps produced without even having to sharpen a pencil. Continue reading

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The arcade to Arcadia – if nowhere else!

One of the tell-tale signs that you are in a municipal zone in Bhutan, is the arcade walkway that fronts every commercial building. Architecturally speaking, the arcade is a walkway set behind a row of columns or arches allowing pedestrians to walk under the protection from both the sun and rain.

A good example of an arcade (Cleveland, Ohio)

The arcade concept was adopted in Bhutan a few decades ago in Thimphu when the first building control regulations came up. The idea was good and there were plenty of good precedents from abroad. Continue reading

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Protecting the environment entails cost and lost opportunities. In the long term these are good costs and opportunities that are worth losing. But success of these programs usually requires public participation and support.  Unfortunately, while the government is trigger-happy when making green policies, it has proven to be quite a cherry picker* when it comes to implementation. This has created a double standard as the government picks and chooses what costs to bear and this does not set a conducive atmosphere for public support.  Continue reading

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