Bhutan Power Corporation will soon begin electrifying about 86 households in three gewogs of Tsirang and is readying the tender documents

With people struggling in the villages without electricity, local leaders of the three gewogs raised the issue at the dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) held last week. In Phungtenchu gewog there are at least four villages with at least 20 households without electricity.

There are at least four households in Jiligang without electricity. The adjacent villages, Dodamchen and Goentegkha have nine and five households each that do not have connection to the grid. These villages of Norbuthang chiwog are more than six hours walk from the gewog centre.

Phungtenchu mangmi Jamphel said people of four villages in Phungtenchu were initially planned for resettlement. While the resettlement got cancelled, a survey for electrification was carried out in March this year but nothing has been done so far.

“These houses were connected with solar panels but over the years that too is damaged. It is a real problem for them,” he said.

In Sergithang gewog, several villages consisting of at least 15 households are without electricity. The villages include Arubotay, Tungpani, Majgaon, Teenkholay, Ngalalung, Tungba and Sakthang.

Two villages of Arubotay and Tungpani got farm road connectivity last month and rural electrification is much awaited.

Sergithang gup Man Bir Rai said the gewog gave clearance for electricity connection after Bhutan Power Corporation surveyed last year. When corresponding with BPC, budget constrain was cited for not being able to connect these homes.

He said that although the villagers have solar connection, it is not as beneficial as the main grid electricity. He said villagers keep asking local leaders on when their village would be electrified. “Lack of electricity connectivity impacts other developmental activities in the village,” he said.

Barshong gewog also has several houses without electricity connection. At least 10 households are located in Malbasey. “When all other houses are living in bright light, keeping some of them in darkness is deprivation, ”Barshong gup Santa Lal Powdel said.

Tsirang has at least 85 households without electricity. However, most of them are connected with solar energy. Of the 86, 42 households are in Sergithang gewog, 20 in Phungtenchu, 14 in Patshaling and 10 in Barshong gewog.

BPC officials clarified at the DT that it wouldn’t be long before all the houses receive grid electricity connection.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang