Electricity: With the onset of monsoon, residents of Panbang are anxious about the unreliable electricity supply.

Residents said it’s strange that the lights go out every time there is thunder. “Sometimes it gives us a feeling that Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC) has installed a sensor that breaks the electricity supply during thunder,” a resident said.

People said weak and erratic power supply has damaged electrical appliances like television screens and refrigerators. “The electricity line here is unique,” said Yonten of Panbang town.

A health official of Panbang Basic Health Unit said other offices could remain closed when lights go out.

He said health facilities require 24 hours electricity. “We have a generator, but it doesn’t work and officials on night duty have to rush for candles when lights go out,” he said.

Health officials said the hospital wards do not have good ventilation and patients suffer without fans. The BHU also faces a difficulty in preserving vaccines in its refrigerators and immediate laboratory tests cannot be conducted.

According to health officials, the generator has not been working since 2012. “We haven’t got a replacement yet,” said a female employee of the BHU. “Blood transfusion is a problem without electricity.”

BPC’s in-charge in Panbang, Passang Dorji, said electricity lines are disrupted when trees fall over the lines. “Monkeys are also a problem,” he added.

Panbang gets power supply from two lines: one 33KV from Tingtibi and another 33KV from Gomphu.

Nima Wangdi | Panbang