Electrification: The issue between the two contractors and villagers of Lauri and Serthi gewogs about pending labour payment for rural electrification has been finally sorted.

Contractors made full payment to the villagers in October.

The people of the communities had contributed labour by carrying electric poles, wires and other materials for the installation of electric poles, wires and transformers. While some received advance payment, many did not.

The matter was raised several times, even during the Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay’s visit to the two gewogs in May and requested the government to intervene.

Report submitted to the BPC office in Thimphu, of the 13 work packages, six packages remained unsettled in Serthi and Lauri due to cost and time overrun.

The report says that the contractors owed payment to the local people because the BPC had withheld the payment to contractors due to material adjustments. The corporation, so, initiated the early settlement of the materials with the contractors to make labour payment.

Although villagers said that the contractors owed them Nu 3M, contractor Chorten Tshering of Rigsum Gonpa Construction said that according to the report, he owed Nu around 2.83 million which he paid by October 25.

Chorten Tshering said that the payment could not be made earlier because there was shortage of materials, which is why the corporation had withheld his final payment.

Druk Ngelang Construction made total payment of Nu 650,000 for the work in Serthi.

BPC coordinated the payment to 150 people from Lauri and 60 people from Serthi with contractors in presence of National Council member, dzongkhag and gewog officials.

Yangchen C Rinzin | Samdrupjongkhar