A WALK THROUGH SPICK AND SPAN Thimpu - Asia's only capital city with ''no traffic lights'' gives a glimpse of green commitment :

A rare sight in South Asia, heavy road-cleaning vehicles sweep the roads and streets in slow circular motions, while trucks collect organic waste from households

CARBON SINK : Bhutan counts cost of plans for green future : The gentle whirring of the turbine speaks volumes of  Bhutan's  record as the world's only carbon negative country-

But major challenges stand in the way of the Himalayan Kingdom's decision to follow a green path over rampant economic expansion.

The mountainous state, holding only its third election on October 18, absorbs three times more CO2  than it emits, thanks mainly to the lush forests covering 72 percent of its land.

Famed as  the ''last Shangri-La'' for using happiness as a measure of success. Switzerland-sized Bhutan has been careful to keep its environment pristine, often by sacrificing profits.

The nation of 800,000  has restricted tourist number with a daily fee of $250 per visitor in high season, helping keep at bay the kind of boom that has ravaged other scenic hotspots.

In May,  Bhutan opted out of an  India-backed regional road connectivity project mainly over the concerns that  trucks  coming in from other countries will pollute its air.

The constitution stipulates that at least  60 percent of Bhutan must be covered in forest, putting a brake on farming and potentially lucrative timber industry.

''There was a great temptation to dig into our forest wealth but we thought of the longer term,'' said Dasho Paljor Dorji from Bhutan's National Development Committee.

FIVE YEAR PLAN : Under the  11th five-year-plan, Bhutan aims to reduce ''substantially'' its forest fuel imports by 2020.

It has just 100 electric cars  so far but wants to increase numbers and plans to introduce a  nationwide  network of charging stations. In 2016 it installed its first wind turbines. [Agencies]


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