Electricity: Some households in Pemathang gewog in Samdrupcholing dungkhag have been waiting for more almost two years for the Bhutan Power Corporation to supply poles that would bring electricity to their new houses.

Raising the issue in the dzongkhag tshogdu, Pemathang Gup Madhukar Subba said that additional poles are required to electrify the new houses.

The issue was raised several times by the affected villagers during gewog tshogdes. But despite assurances by the company, no poles arrived.

The gup said that these villagers were unable to move into their new houses as a result.

“We don’t know what’s taking time because we were told that the service would be delivered within a year after the construction but now it’s almost two years,” he said.

The gup added that as per rules, if a house is located within 40 metres from existing electricity poles, it would be connected to the grid immediately. If located beyond 40 metres, new poles would be required.

“I think it’s time they receive the poles,” he said. “This is not new. Most of the time, poles don’t reach on time and people have to wait,” he added. However, he emphasised that he is not complaining.

He also pointed out that temporary lines could be pulled from the old houses but are not allowed.

Similarly, the people of Martshala and Phuntshothang gewog have also been waiting for electric poles to be delivered for more than a year.

Martshala Gup Yenten Dorji said that more than 15 households have been waiting for the poles.

“Even we’re not sure about the reason and therefore sometimes it’s hard to answer the villagers when they ask about the poles,” he said. “We don’t know if there is a lack of poles or if it is a management problem but we do hope that they will help us.”

In response, BPC regional director Vesraj Bhujel agreed that the poles should have been delivered by now. He said that since he had only recently joined the office, he would look into the matter.

Yangchen C Rinzin |  Samdrupjongkhar