Power: With almost 90 percent of the work completed, Bhutan Power corporation (BPC) expects to electrify Lauri, Samdrupjongkhar’s most remote gewog, by mid this year.

Divided in two packages, work on the much-awaited rural electrification  (RE) project began in 2012 and was supposed to complete by June 2013.

But monsoon and its remote location hindered the installations of trunk line and, the electrification was delayed.

However, BPC is now left to erect a few transformers, wire and charge the system, which is expected to complete by February end.  The RE would benefit about 543 households.

BPC’s RECD deputy manager, based in Samdrupcholing, Choney, said once the work completes, only then electricity would be passed after safety awareness is created among the people.

“We’re hoping and quite sure that we’d complete testing of transformers by the end of this month and then complete the entire work by February,” he said. “Almost 85 transformers have been installed.”

However, he said, it would be possible to provide electricity only if people have already installed wirings in their homes.  To date, only 30 percent of the households have connected wires with the meter box.

“Otherwise, the transformer would remain idle,” he said. “The villagers should install the wirings inside the house on their own expense.”

He said they have already informed the villagers to start installing. “If one household has wiring and the rest 12 households don’t, then it will be time consuming and expensive to pass electricity from one transformer.”

The electricity would be passed from the Kurichu power station via Dewathang power station, which will pass from Samdrupcholing, Pemathang and Serthi gewogs.

Meanwhile, Minjiwoong village in Serthi gewog has already been electrified, while the rest of the villages would be connected after the safety awareness.

Villagers said they would now be able to use electric appliances and light their homes at night so that their children could study at night.  They said it would also cut down the use of firewood and save trees.

Thirty-two-year-old Pema Tenzin from Doongmanma said he had already installed the wires and was eagerly waiting for the connection.

“Many of us have already bought rice cookers and water boilers,” he said. “We’ve worked hard carrying the poles so that we could get electricity, but it took longer than we expected.”

By Yangchen C Rinzin, Samdrupjongkhar