Tshering Namgyal | Silambi

The school management and teachers of Nagor Middle Secondary School in Silimbi, Mongar are worried if their computer classes would be covered in time due to a power supply shortage.

Power shortage has resulted due to jungle clearing work.

School’s IT teacher, Gyem Tshering, said there are three periods IT classes for classes VII to 10 and two for classes PP-VI, and the school missed 38 periods in a week. “IT is the main subject now and we will have to make adjustments to cover the classes on time. All IT classes have to be carried out in the lab.”

A teacher said: “Some of us are attending courses and meetings online. Teachers do lesson planning and assess students’ tasks online.”

A contractor said the absence of light has affected construction works at the school.

Power supply was temporarily restored on August 29 although the gewog would suffer erratic power supply until the jungle cutting work is completed.

Bhutan Power Corporation Limited (BPCL) officials said the people of Silambi and Gongdue gewogs were affected due to plant shutdown for jungle clearing along the transmission lines in the gewogs.

Mongar’s BPC officials said jungle cutting is an annual activity that usually lasts for a month. However, the time has been shortened after the two feeders started supplying electricity in the region.

BPC’s Gyalpoizhing sub-divisional manager, Karma Gyaltshen, said the right of way clearing of bushes used to take about 45 days before and the whole six gewogs of Silambi, Gongue, Drepong, Saling, Kengkhar, and Jurmey gewogs would be affected throughout the execution of works along the 152-km transmission line.

However, he said it was mininised to five to 10 days at the most after the gewogs were connected with two feeders from Broksar sub-station and Kilihar sub-station.

BPC officials said the work would shift to Drepong feeder and only the customers in Kengkhar and Jurmey gewogs and some parts of Drepong will experience a power cut off during the day for about same duration while Silambi and Gongdue gewogs might experience occasional disruptions.

Karma Gyaltshen said that 90 percent of line fault is due to trees along the transmission line while the rest is due to lightning, birds and animals striking the lines and the annual clearing works would address the issue.