Nim Dorji | Trongsa

As dusk envelopes the foothills of famous Black Mountain in Trongsa, residents of the 17 households in Phumzur and kurdak watch electricity lighting up households in the nearby villages.

Outside a small one storey house of wooden planks, Choden is sorting out pine resins from the stacked firewood.  “We rely on firewood for cooking purposes and pine resins to light homes,” she said.

As one of the remotest and least developed Monpa village, Taryana Foundation provided them solar lightings in 2007, which helped them but since it was old, it did not work whenever the weather was bad.

Located inside the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, the villagers were also provided with solar fencing, which has also become defunct now.

Villagers said their life would improve if their village was connected with electricity, as they would use electric cookers and rely less on firewood.

According to a villager, Namgay Wangmo, they walk more than three hours to charge their mobile phones in Jangbi.

Jangbi tshogpa Lhajay said he made several request on behalf of Phumzur and Kurdak residents to electrify the villages. “Electricity will even improve sanitisation and hygiene in the villages.”

Langthel Gup Sonam Dhendup said that Phumzur, Rewtala, Kurdak and Ngada villages do have no electricity connection.

He raised the issue in the dzongkhag tshodgu. “Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC) officials assured the places will be electrified this year.”

However, BPC’s manager in Trongsa, Ugyen Thinley,  said electrification of Phumzur and Kurdak will begin next year. “Works were supposed to begin in September but it got delayed because of the pandemic as we have to import the materials.”

Electrification of Rewtala, Ngada and Samcholing Goenpa will start by August as all the materials are ready.

Edited by Tashi Dema