Bumthang ‘Charm-Fire’ (Chamkhar)?

Bumthang is known for its natural beauty blessed by numerous saints and lamas including the second Buddha Guru Rinpoche. From Kurje Lhakhang to Mebartsho, Bumthang indeed is a land of Charm. But unfortunately the charm is under attack by fire as of late. The Chamkhar town, which is now third in a row gutted down by the disastrous fire accident, has raised so many eye brows across the nation. The very first accident garnered a nation-wide sympathy, while second one raised a few questions/suspicions, and I am sure now this third one would raise ever more questions and eye brows!
Why just in the Chamkhar town? Is Chamkhar town electrified differently? Are people being stubbornly careless with electricity? Is our disaster management proactive or reactive or more importantly prepared enough to fight with such a catastrophe? If it was an electric short-circuit, are our electric appliances or wiring safe? So on and on…These are the very pertinent questions that everybody should be pondering on.

Electricity is a good servant but a bad master, we are being cautioned thus. Of course only if it was taken that seriously, neither does Gyelpoi Zhimpoen’s office have to be on toes (all the time) nor would the Chamkhar town have to be rebuilt thrice in two years! These unfortunate repeated fire accidents have generated both sympathizers as well as suspicions. The Opposition Leader has twitted, “1st fire in Oct. 2nd in Feb. 3rd this morning. All 3 started at abt 2:30 AM. Strange. Residents suspect arson caused this morning’s fire”. Yes its strange! Could the investigation team be able to come up with any conclusive findings that would be necessary to help better respond to such accidents in the future? Let us wait and see!

National Assembly is in session now, and I don’t know if they are going to discuss anything new and concrete, particularly on the disaster management. We often say we Bhutanese take things cautiously learning through mistakes. But we have already seen so many problems and mistakes, how long are we going to wait to correct the mistaken things and put some safety measures in place? It is high time the concerned authority raised the alert level, and framed a rule for a mandatory requirement of Fire extinguisher and the smoke detector in every house all across the nation. Accordingly, educate and train the people on handling those equipments, so that they don’t have to fully rely on the under manned fire-fighters and fire trucks. Fire accidents are preventable and we should be fully aware of how to prevent it!

Until and unless something drastic is carried out, there will be many Chamkhar towns in waiting across the nation. Hope this fire accident was purely accidental, but if the investigation team finds otherwise, justice should be prevailed and necessary action carried out!

May God Bless Bhutan, and my condolences to all the people affected by the latest accident!

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