๐๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐๐ž๐ซ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐๐ก๐ฎ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž

๐˜ผ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™™ 200 ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ช๐™˜๐™ ๐™จ ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™™๐™–๐™ž๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™–๐™œ๐™š๐™™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™š๐™ญ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ก๐™™๐™š๐™ง๐™จ

With around 200 trucks laden with boulders, mines, and minerals leaving the border town, the export of boulders from Phuentsholing to Bangladesh and India has been on the rise.

According to the President of the Bhutan Exporters Association (BEA), Dorji Tshering, last year, there were less than 50 truckloads of boulders in a day exiting Phuentsholing. Today the number has increased massively to 200 and the pace has been on the rise.

He said with 200 trucks daily engaged in the export, the revenue generated on a daily basis comes to around USD 170,000 just from Phuentsholing.

โ€œLooking at the number of truckloads, this year is far better than last year. Last year, we couldnโ€™t export due to the lockdowns and now slowly the export is on the rise due to the containment zone at Amochhu,โ€ he said.

Commenting on the challenges, Dorji Tshering said the holding of vehicles at Kule Bari and Changrabandha is the biggest issue as the vehicles are kept on hold for four days at Kule Bari, and at Changrabandha it takes 14-21 days to export.

โ€œDue to the elections in the neighboring country, the strike continues disrupting the movement of vehicles,โ€ he said.

Currently, all the drivers engaged in export are from India though the vehicles are from Bhutan and India.

Dorji Tshering said the trucks are from Bhutan, but the drivers are not Bhutanese because to avoid the chances of spreading the Covid-19 after coming from other countries.

โ€œThe Indian drivers are well equipped and protected as per the Covid-19 protocols and they are not allowed to contact with anyone beyond the containment zone,โ€ he said.

According to the daily report maintained by the BEA, this year on April the amount generated from boulders at Phuentsholing and Pasakha is USD 1,670,298. USD 4,320,351 was made from boulder export in March this year.

Last year, a total of USD 9,569,568 were made from exporting boulders to Bangladesh and Nu 15,845,664 were made from exporting to India. The BEA report states that on April 13, this year, a total of 253 trucks exported boulders to Bangladesh and India amounting to USD 201,435.

Sonam Tashi from Phuentsholing