YK Poudel 

As a part of an initiative to provide a comprehensive online system to transform public services into e-services in Bhutan, the Department of Geology and Mines (DGM) launched Mines Administration System (MAS) in Thimphu yesterday.

According to Minister of Economic Affairs, Loknath Sharma, such an integrated online platform would enable a transparent and accountable system for the public.

“We must educate our people on how to use the system effectively so that the mandate of the system developed is met. The system should be made robust and user-friendly for the public with all procedures into an integrated web-based system,” Lyonpo said.

DGM Director Phuntsho Namgyal, said that MAS would possibly bring about a better understanding of geology, mineral resources and their management and enhance strict compliance monitoring of mines and quarries in the country.

“The MAS shall streamline the overall application procedures for mining. It shall provide a single window to lodge applications, track the status, provide status reports to the applicants, and seek sectoral clearances from different stakeholders among others,” he said.

The officiating chief engineer of DGM, Chabilal Dhital, said the two-phase MAS was developed as a part of ICT initiatives of the 12 five-year plan. “Phase I was mineral information and revenue modules funded by World Bank, and phase II – mines leasing and compliance monitoring modules through government’s support.”

The system provides end-to-end online application processes, compliance and monitoring of mining and related activities and online application processes for geochemical, geotechnical and drilling services.

The system worth Nu 2.98 million was initiated in 2019.

Lyonpo also launched the “Geoscience and Mining Journal of Bhutan – series 03.”

Specialist and chair of the journal series, Dr Dowchu Drukpa, said that the journal covers a wide range of topics within the facet of geoscience and mining. “The journal could be used as one-stop information on geoscience and mining as well as the framework for awareness of DGM.”