The Bhutan Power Corporation office (BPC) in Wangdue restored electricity in Daga  by the afternoon of March 21 after the gewog suffered power blackout since the night of March 18.

This, according to the residents, was the second power blackout they faced within this month, with the latest one on March 11. Power was restored on March 13.

Beginning a few years ago the power blackouts became frequent, locals said sometimes they even had to approach higher authorities to get the power restored.

Daga gewog officials said they only wanted BPC to improve the situation, and not complain about their work. “When there is a blackout, it affects the villages in the gewog, Taksha primary school and the gewog office,” said a gewog official.

Gewog officials said Taksha school has boarding facilities and when the power goes off, it affects the students and teaching staff.

Officials also said the school authority always calls the gewog whenever there is a blackout.

Gewog officials pointed out that such blackouts also hamper the gewog office in providing required services to the people. “Without power, the office can’t even send a single official letter or make phone calls,” an official said.

Wangdue’s BPC manager, Dilli Ram Adhikari, said the power blackout this time was caused by falling trees on the power transmission lines near the Punatsanghhu II dam construction site in the forest.

“We immediately deployed our people to clear the trees and restore the power but since it was a huge tree it took some time,” the manager said. “The power cut happened at around 11pm.”

He said they took several days to restore the power the last time, as two transmission poles were damaged due to falling trees caused by a heavy windstorm. “The frequent blackout in and around Daga gewog is mostly caused due to falling trees on transmission poles and lines.”

The manager said more human resources are needed and more time to restore the power in the area, as most of these problems occur in the forests. “Most problems were also caused because the trees were taller than the transmission poles, he said. “We are trying our best to restore the power back whenever there is blackout.”

Gewog officials also said another transformer will be installed at Kamichu which should help to address the blackouts.

Meanwhile, gewog officials said despite requesting BPC and raising the issue during dzongkhag tshogdus, Wogay chiwog is yet to be electrified. The chiwog with just 14 households is one of the remotest areas in Wangdue.

Dawa Gyelmo | Wangdue