Haa is preparing to host the sixth edition of Royal Bhutan Flower Exhibition and is bringing in something called beautification audit. Simply put the idea is that the investment made for the celebration remains and will be maintained forever. The concept is not only beautiful but also promising.
Unique as our system is the initiative has every chance of succeeding because we even have a beautification officer in every dzongkhag whose primary responsibility is to develop long-term plans for beautification of the dzongkhag and to ensure long-term sustainability of the programmes. In Haa, beautification officer would be tasked with the responsibility to audit the beautification projects.
Samdrupjongkhar, the home of the fifth edition of Royal Bhutan Flower Exhibition is today a changed town. It is arguably Bhutan’s most beautiful town. The exhibition helped add special quality to its aesthetic charm and the town’s residents took ownership of the investment. There are parks for children and adults alike and shopfronts are lined with beautiful plants and flowers. Samdrupjongkhar could also easily be Bhutan’s cleanest town today. And since the exhibition the number of regional tourists has visibly increased in the town.
In Haa too the developed sites would be asset for the dzongkhag. Because the celebration will covers all six gewogs audit will cover the entire dzongkhag, including dzongkhag administration office, religious institutions, community lhakhangs, main event site, drungkhag administration, gewogs offices, schools, hospital and BHUs, RNR centres and regional offices such as forestry and park, among others. The people will participate in the celebration by cleaning their homes, planting flowers and trees in their surrounding with special focus on maintaining their own kitchen gardens.
Haa might not even need beautification audit but it is always good to have one. People are now increasingly realising the salience of civic responsibility. The good thing is that the Royal Bhutan Flower Exhibition does not have a permanent home. It has the potential to leave its mark wherever it goes just like Thimphu’s Memorial Choeten and Samdrupjongkhar stand as the living proof.
As we aim to take the benefits of tourism to the dzongkhags other than Thimphu, Punakha and Wangdue, Royal Bhutan Flower Exhibition could play a critically important role. For the dzongkhags such as Haa, transformation after the celebration could be beyond physical beautification.