Choki Wangmo | Sarpang

The laying of three-line naked live wires on private land in Chuzanggang in Sarpang is affecting the lives of residents in the gewog.

More than 53 households in the gewog are neither allowed to cultivate nor develop infrastructure on 13 acres of dryland over which the lines are laid.

Chuzanggang gup at the recent Sarpang dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) said that the residents in all the chiwogs in the gewog are affected. He requested the Bhutan Power Corporation Limited (BPC) to install insulated HB ABC cables.

He said that the live wires run above schools, which if damaged, is an open invitation to tragedy. “It threatens livestock and human lives.”

A resident of Thongjabi Chiwog, Pema Wangda, said that residents have not been allowed to build houses and grow cash crops on their land in the last 15 years. The inconvenience, he said, was grave during land division and inheritance.

There are two live wires in the gewog. One wire runs through Gelephu-Serzhong-Barshong-Chuzanggang gewogs and the other through Gelephu-Sershong-Chuzerggang-Umling-Tareythang gewogs.

Shompangkha Gup Suk Dorji Yonzan said that BPC should also clear bushes around HT and LT wires. “We requested the BPC and Department of Roads but said that the gewog administration is mandated to clear the overgrowth.”

Other local government leaders said that such issues were also rampant in their gewogs.

BPC’s engineer, Phuntsho Choden, said that users were required to keep the right of way according to the policies. She said that low voltage wires are used in rural areas and that there won’t be much risk.

She said: “There are problems in the line and we are currently carrying out a technical feasibility assessment.”

She said that HB ABC cables are expensive and are not always feasible as they affect transmission. “It costs Nu 3 million to lay 3km of HB ABC cables. But the office will identify critical risk areas and lay the wires wherever necessary.”

The new developments would be presented in the next DT, she added.

With over 2,500 people, Chuzanggang gewog has 99.50 percent of electricity coverage.