Choki Wangmo | Dagana
As dusk falls, residents of Lhamoidzingkha drungkhag ready their candles and switch on the solar bulbs.
It is no coincidence, but a way of life for the residents of Karmaling, Lhamoidzingkha, and Nichula gewogs.
Every monsoon, they adjust their lives according to the erratic power supply in the area.
Residents also claimed erratic power supply has hampered service delivery.
A gewog official said that without constant power supply, it was challenging to provide services as these services are mostly online. “When there is no power supply, we just waste our time waiting for it.”
Another official said when the light is restored, internet is down. “Sometimes, work done in a day is zero.”
A restaurant owner in Lhamoidzingkha town said that she always keeps a supply of LPG gas at home, which has become more expensive in recent months.
“We don’t have much choice. When we complain to relevant authorities, they have excuses,” she said.
A Nichula resident, Bhim Nath Kafley, said power supply issue is serious in the gewog.
Located in the extreme south of the country, the temperatures in these gewogs during summers are as high as 40 degree Celsius.
Elephants, mithuns, and snakes roam the night in the plains filled with thickets and undergrowth. People use torchlights to chase away elephants.
“If our town is sufficiently lighted, these preys will keep away,” a resident said.
Lhamoidzingkha gup Surja Bahadur Limbu said that in the past, the power blackout lasted for weeks.
He, however, said that after transmission of 400kV was temporarily used from Dagachu substation, the problem was resolved for some years.
Currently, these three gewogs use power supply from Gedu substation.
“We were told that there were technical issues in transmission line,” he said, adding that the line from Gedu substation was not reliable.
On May 18, there was outage for half-day and a night. The power was restored yesterday but was erratic.
The problem, according to Bhutan Power Corporation officials in Lhamoidzingkha was a result of rain and windstorms in Gedu.
An official said that the power supply for Lhamoidzingkha drungkhag was drawn from Gedu substation, as the power from Dagachu was required in other projects.
“The substation in Gedu cannot supply to all three gewogs. There are plans to install more substations,” he said, adding that the drunkhag’s distance from the Gedu substation also disrupted the supply in the region.
Last month, windstorm affected the power supply in the drunkhag. It took three days to restore.