Facility: Mongar’s town area is a dark and difficult place at night. Streetlights don’t beam from the light poles because there has been no repair or maintenance done in the last six months.

People who live far from town find it difficult to go back home. Women and children are at risk.

Namgay Dorji, who lives in the heart of the town, said he doesn’t understand why streetlights are left without repair. “We never know what could happen to our houses, our cars and our kids. Sometimes we can see groups of young people smoking in the corners.”

A police said that without streetlights night patrolling has become difficult and risky affair. People are worried that if this state continues, thieves and vandals will lurk under the cover of darkness.

Of 146 streetlights in the Mongar town, 94 are non-functional.

Mongar’s thromde engineer, Kiba Wangchuk, said maintenance could not be done on streetlights because of shortage of manpower and budget, among others.

He added, however, that some materials have already come from Phuentsholing and together with Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC) maintenance work will soon be carried out.

Kiba Wangchuk said that the thromde used to deposit Nu 500,000 to BPC for maintenance, repair and electricity fee but could not do so last year due to budget shortage.

BPC’s officiating manager, Sonam Choden, said that thromde deposited Nu 480,800 in April 2014, which used for maintenance. “If thromde deposits money on time, we will be able to do the repair works.”

Kiba Wangchuk said that all the non-functional streetlights will be repaired soon.

Tashi Phuntsho, Mongar