As decided by the DT on May 19

DT: Deliberating on the issue of inconsistent signboards along the highways and the town, the Paro dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) on May 19 decided to have uniform signboards throughout the dzongkhag.

In doing so, the DT will write to the works and human settlement ministry to come up with a guideline to ensure uniformity of signboards including the size and text that can also be followed across the country.

Local leaders said that the same rule should also apply to signboards that Border Roads Organisation’s Project DANTAK places along the highways and the towns besides shopkeepers in the dzongkhag.

The DT decided that the dzongkhag, relevant gewogs within their jurisdiction and the Department of Roads (DoR) would also monitor placement of inappropriate signboards in the towns and along the highways. It was also decided that all signboards must be written in Dzongkha followed by English below. It will also be required that the messages are grammatically correct.

DT chairman, Lamgong Gup Phub Tshering reiterated that signboards with wrong information of places and grammatical errors affects the aesthetics of the dzongkhag, which the DT was supposed to monitor but failed to do so.

“Besides project DANTAK, it was also an issue with almost all the shops in Paro town,” Gup Phub Tshering said. “Even if the DT can’t monitor it, we should make sure that they get the spelling right.”

Citing the example of the signboard that project DANTAK had put up in Bondey, local leaders pointed out grammatical errors in Dzongkha.

The Paro thromde thuemi said besides the grammatical error, people also expressed concerns over the same signboard wherein project DANTAK welcomes visitors to the dzongkhag instead of the dzongkhag administration.

In this regard, it was decided that the dzongkhag would write to project DANTAK to rectify the signboard in Bondey as discussed during the DT.

DoR’s engineer Dorji said that they wrote to the ministry concerning the issue of the signboard at Bondey.

“We were informed that the ministry wrote to DANTAK to discuss with the dzongkhag administration on the proposed changes,” he said. “

Dorji also said that the ministry informed project DANTAK of the need to seek approval from the gewog, dzongkhag and DoR. “It wasn’t an issue so far but they should follow the regulations as specified in the road and the local government (LG) Acts,” he said.

The Local Government Act states that the DT in line with its regulatory powers and functions shall regulate posting of billboards, roadside signs, posters, banners and other commercial advertisements to ensure preservation and enhancement of scenic and aesthetic beauty.

Besides local leaders and dzongkhag officials, Paro residents also complained of the ubiquitous signboards, which according to some, lacked uniformity and were inappropriate.

Kinga Dema | Paro